Billie Holiday: The dawn of Jazz America

“God bless the child that got its own”

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Billie Holiday’s career spans from the 30’s to the 50’s of the last century. This was the mythical time of America’s Jazz, a time of poverty and frugality, the music of small clubs, the lost sounds of stars nicknames that evoked closeness and familiarity. As it was usual, singers used to tour accompanied by orchestras already with a name of their own. It was in the Count Bessie Orchestra that Billie met legends of the sort of Lester Young. Besides working alongside bands, she developed an important solo career that took her from tiny little clubs in Baltimore and Harlem to the greatest concert halls in Europe even. Billie’s private life had a great deal of an impact on her song writings. She sang of poverty, which experienced earlier in her life, of troubled relationships as in “my man”, and of discrimination a scar more than alive at the time personally and objectively. Eventually was her habit of substance abuse that took her away from the stage for quite some time not only because of health-related problems, but also because she was jailed a couple of times. Her signature style, elegant and mesmerizing, conveys an ever present note of sweet and sour melancholy.

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Condoleeza Rice, and the transformative power of politics

My mom was a teacher – I have the greatest respect for the profession – we need great teachers – not poor or mediocre ones

Condoleeza Rice

Condoleeza Rise was the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State in the United States.

ImageBefore serving as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice served as National Security Advisor all in the George W. Bush Administration (2000-2008).
During these years she championed the so called Transformational Diplomacy which was about building democratic governments throughout the Middle East as she considered the September 11 attacks as rooted in despair and poverty.
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She was born in segregated Alabama in 1954. She suffered many times discrimination but said more than one time that she didn’t let it limit her horizon.
Rice is convinced that the American nation is held together by the belief that it does not matter where you are coming from it matters where you are going; it does not matter the past but the future.
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She has always insisted on the empowering and transformative strength of education as a mean for men to get on on the social ladder.

Harriet Tubman, highway to freedom

mah  people mus’go free

Harriet Tubman

harriet-tubman2-library-of-congress-600Another example of perseverance, symbol of freedom and independence is Harriet Tubman. Like Sojourner Truth Tubam (1819/20-1913) was born in slavery and escaped from slavery when she was 25: “[…] the sun came like gold through the trees , and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven[…]”.

She didn’t leave the slaves behind though. Harriet Tubman became one of the most popular conductor of the Underground Rail Road, a secret road for the slaves to walk from the Southern states of U.S.A. to the free states of Canada: “[…] her success was wonderful […] she seemed totaly devoid of personal fear[…] images-4yet she would not suffer one of her party to whimper once about giving out and going back” because “a live runaway could do a great harm by going back[…]” and  she was bluntly convinced that: “[…] a dead Negro tell no tales[…] “. She worked so efficiently that the reward for her capture went as higimages-6h as $40,000.

Tubman met many times with John Brown and during the Civil War worked for the Union Army as a soldier a spy and a nurse.

After the Civil War she remained active by helping old and indigent black persons and fighting for human rights.

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When she died in 1913 she was awarded with military honor.thumbs_img_1231