Billie James’ first appearance into the story line. He details the homosexual relationship he has with his lover, Miguel Santos. This is the first we learn of Billie’s bisexuality. He also reveals the tumultuous relationship between him and his father, William James Senior. Their relationship was always troubled by the choices Billie made for partners. William James Sr. married a light skinned woman and believes his two boys should do the same. William James Sr. hates white males and often warned his boys not to fraternize with them.
“There is a very definite...um, hostility against homosexuality among, among certain black people. There is a certain image of male, of masculinity, which the idea of homosexuality seems to attack. I think that’s nonsense myself, you know. People are going to be; have always been as various as people are. And no one makes themselves, you know. And no one can foresee, who he or she is going to fall in love with. And ain’t nobody’s business but the person’s!
“Now in order to survive this, you have to really dig down into yourself, and recreate yourself, really. According to no image which yet exists in America. You know, you have to impose in fact...this may sound very strange, you have to decide who you are. And force the world to deal with you and not this idea of you.” -James Baldwin
Listen: “My Man”- Billie Holiday
Read: “Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone” - James Baldwin
Read: “Another Country” - James Baldwin