March is Women in Jazz Month, a time to celebrate the contributions of women to jazz.
As a lifelong activist, I want to celebrate the role that women in jazz played in paving the way for the Civil Rights Movement. Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” written by Abel Meeropol, is the first protest song.
Ethel Waters’ “Supper Time” is not well-known. Written by Irving Berlin especially for Waters, the song is about a wife’s grief over the lynching of her husband.
For Lady Day and Ethel Waters, Black Lives always mattered.