I have to say I've reached a point were I'm, not off politics, but I feel I need to take a little time for myself.
Interviewed by Dominique Searle Malaga 2003
On stage she's a diva. Black, beautiful and in control of every moment. Barbara Hendricks briefly glances across the auditorium with a teacher like glare before breaking into a smile and releasing her powerful voice. Her mother taught in the tiny American town of Stephens, Arkansas. Her father was a pastor As she exited the lift into the slightly gaudy, mock art-deco café of the Hotel Larios, Malaga for the interview, she lifted the dark barrier of her sun-glasses, briefly flashing that glare again, to unveil a soft-spoken, approachable person Hendricks speaks plainly of her anger with today's political class.
What has been going on in the world has been making me a little bit sick. I see democracy being greatly threatened. We were treated like children in this situation with Iraq. They never, ever said at the beginning that the whole point was to get rid of Saddam Hussein." Since 1987 Hendricks has worked as a goodwill. Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), but tries to avoid the glamorous fund raising events. She's been out often to the frontline of the humanitarian crisis in Sarajevo, Malaysia and Africa. She seeks a balance between her low profile mission to help refugees and a heavy music schedule Hendricks expects excellence not just from musicians but political leaders too. After a growing sense of disappointment in recent times, the anti-war demonstrations this year revived a waning confidence in humanity."It's been a very difficult time. But I was heartened by February 15, by how many millions of people, even high school kids, decided to stand. I had felt lately that one of the real menaces for democracy is the lack of interest of citizens. In most of our so-called democratic countries our leader are elected by less than half of the voting population because of apathy.