Besides being one of the greatest musicians of all time. Miles Davis was not shy about smacking the shit out of his women and spoke about it in such a blase manner you'd think he was talking about the weather. Of course, it wasn't a big deal for Miles, the women stuck around, most famously Cicely Tyson, the award winning actress but also Francis Davis, a Broadway dancer who gave up her career to be with Miles.
Miles not only abused drugs and alcohol but also women!? I was crestfallen. I struggled with the two images of Miles, one as the brilliant musician whom I had come to admire and the other as a callous woman beater. I didn't like it at all. How could someone whose music I loved and admired be a wife beater? Miles' misguided treatment of women didn't change my mind about his music or his talent as a musician but I did think less of him as person. Miles Davis, woman beater.
There's never been a good reason for a man to put his hands on a woman, ever, not back in 1970s and certainly not now.For an eye-opening account of spousal abuse, read Pearl Cleage's 'Mad at Miles: A Black Woman's Guide to the Truth'.