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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Photographs of Black Los Angeles from the Walter Gordon Collection


"Billie Holiday stands with LAPD Detective Gosline in front of a courtroom while awaiting trial in the early 1950s. Holiday was singing “Strange Fruit” (a song about the lynching of African-Americans) in a West Hollywood club, when a member of the audience proceeded to heckle her. She left the stage midway through the song, allegedly slashed the heckler with a knife, and resumed singing. She was charged with assault and battery but the case was dismissed when the victim, under cross-examination by Walter Gordon, refused to give his name and address."