There is no one like Judy Garland. The voice, the glamour, the tragedy. She is the nonpareil of damaged resilience. An empathic icon of marginalized people, Garland was a hero to many…but couldn’t save herself. Judy’s anguish manifested in her incredible stage presence as well as social activism.
Judy was a gay icon long before her death on June 22, 1969. (Claims that her passing sparked the Stonewall Riots a week later are still debated.) Garland’s life strongly resonated with that community, while she empathized with her audience and their struggles: The pain of leading a double life. The psychic cost of repressed emotions. The need to be loved authentically.
Garland was also committed to the Civil Rights Movement. She supported the 1963 March on Washington, using her connections to help organize and fundraise alongside Josephine Baker, Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Paul Newman, Rita Moreno, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Weeks later, the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing killed four children and injured dozens in Birmingham, Alabama. Garland rallied friends, family, and the public to raise money for hospital bills and funeral costs of blast victims.
Judy Garland channeled her own heartache into strengthening other people. She used her celebrity to address inequalities and her performances to uplift audiences. The raw power, emotion, and relatability of her voice–on and off screen–still touches people.
You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.
Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.
If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at email@example.com.