How Billie Holiday was tormented to death handcuffed to her hospital bed

When Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, got his mandate in 1930 to rid America of its drugs vice, he set his eyes on practitioners of jazz music which he called black man’s music. As Johann Hari explains in his book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, Anslinger described this music form as “musical anarchy and evidence of a recurrence of the primitive impulses that lurk in black people, waiting to emerge.” The lives of the jazzmen, he said, “reek of filth,”…

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