Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Miles Davis Flashback

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'.

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