Billie Holiday Paper

This essay has a total of 660 words and 3 pages.

Billie Holiday


To understand the controversy that Billie presented one must first go to the root or
source of such controversy and examine Billie's childhood. Billie was born Eleanora Harris
to her father Clarence Holiday and mother Sadie Fagan who were just fifteen and thirteen
years old, respectively, at the time (A 91). Born between 1912 and 1915 in Baltimore, the
date unsure, Billie grew up without her father, who moved away early on in her life.


Billie and her mother used to fight a lot, when her mother was around. Much of the time
Billie was left in the care of relatives or friends, many of whom were unloving (E).
Billie's relationship with her family was very weak, as Billie throughout her life and
career never or rarely got family approval or recognition (W 13). The extent to which
Billie did not get along with her family is evident as she was chastised for her
grandmother's death at the age of six (E). The turmoil within Billie's family was
manifested when Billie commented later on in life that "As far as I'm Concerned, all the
Fagans are dead" (W 14). This made her family very mad and lead to their further
abandonment of Billie. Aside from the superficial tension between Billie and her mother,
they did their best to remain loyal to one another and provide for each other (W 201).


As Billie grew older, life grew harder and reality slowly became more and more real for
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