Beatrice Davis: Not Limited to Any Race But the Human Race

In this narrative, Beatrice Davis describes growing up through a myriad of different cultures and how she joined the music industry in an age where women typically didn’t work. She tells the story of how being a citizen of the world shaped her understanding of what it means to be racially diverse. Growing up in various countries, and facing a plethora of hardships, Beatrice finds her identity.

I was born in Zurich, Switzerland. My mother is German, my father is Tunisian, so I have a different background that what most people may have. I was raised until I was about 7 or 8 and my great grandparents adopted me and I moved to Germany.

At the age of 27, after I completed many different internships at school, I decided to move to the United States. It is sad memories I have because it was a very abusive time as well.. not just mentally but physically. It was sexuality involved so it was hard to be as a child experiencing misconduct. I was about, I would say about 9 or 10, could be 11, I cant really recall all the details but it was about at that time frame, and then when in Germany to school and private school.

It was a very lonely and difficult time because even if you recorded or mentioned the incidents that happened it was dismissed in a way: ‘uhh I’m telling a story,’ ‘I’m exaggerating,’ ‘it’s not true,’ ‘how can nuns and priests do that to you,’… you know? So, it was incomprehensible to believe what I was telling. I don’t think anyone was on my side. I think we realize now in our days the extents of
what happened over the years… so it’s very sad and very compelling to me in a way to realize I was not the only one.

Then, when you consider when you come to another school then you go to Germany and then you encounter a similar situation again, then it makes it even worse, and I think your whole life is balanced, structured based on your upbringing and the situations you had
to deal with, the difficulties, the hurt, the pain and I think you carry this on for the rest of your life.

I always had an interest in fashion even as a young child. I always thought the fashion magazines were the glory, the glamour. To move to a different world, it was my escape I guess. I love hats so I wanted to be a millenary, and I wanted to design clothes. And it was about six years altogether until I finished everything and completed and got
my degrees!

I decided, ‘I think it’s time to move’ and I opened up the map and said as long as it’s not New York, DC, LA, Miami…I closed my eyes and put my finger somewhere and it was in the middle of Illinois and I looked at the biggest city and it was Chicago and so I started making
my preparation for that, and I came here and started like many other people… as babysitter. I was a waitress, worked for a hotel, and then ended up at chive records.

I decided I would work with any kind of recording artist because you want to get the experience. You do want to learn from different cultures and backgrounds, and that means also to music. I was working with Chaparro, I was with BB King, I was with Elton John…I was with Cici Peniston, to Common, to Ice T, Ice Cube… and for Righteous Teachers, and George Clinton… Oh my God!

Mostly females at that time, in 1988 ’89, were not considered as professionals or able to handle such concert tours around the world. They felt it needed a man and because of the danger, the difficulties, the structures.. but I thought if this company believes in me, then I can do it. And I think I succeeded and 15 years downs the road, I can say that I worked with incredible talented people.

I think I am a wonderful human being of many different cultures because we all come from different cultures. And I don’t really want to put myself in one category. As a human being, I had at least the opportunity to learn, different cultures, different religions based on that. And so it gave me, on that capacity, a whole different way of seeing the world. Now I’m looking and I’m like, ‘I don’t identity myself as white or mixed or whatever’.

I’m a human being and we all should act like that.