BALTIMORE (AP) | Baltimore has rededicated a statue of Billie Holiday with two panels at its base evoking the anti-racism message of a song recorded by the jazz icon in the 1930s.
The panels - one of a lynched man and another of a newborn baby - weren’t included when the piece was originally erected in 1985 in a West Baltimore neighborhood that once attracted entertainers like Holiday.
At the ceremony Friday on the 50th anniversary of Holiday’s death, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon said people should view the statue and the panels as a depiction of “raw” history.
Holiday, who lived in Baltimore as a child, recorded “Strange Fruit,” a jazz ballad condemning lynchings of blacks. It was considered one of the first anti-racism songs in American popular music.