Strange Fruit

History of Sorts

I don’t think there is a more powerful song then ” Strange Fruit” which deals with racism. Especially the original version sung by Billie Holiday.

The lynching of black men in the American South was an all-too-familiar occurrence in the 1930s, even though it rarely made news. So when Billie Holiday had a hit record with the song “Strange Fruit,” it brought attention to this important issue in unusual ways.

“Strange Fruit” originated as a poem written by the Jewish-American writer, teacher and songwriter Abel Meeropol, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan, as a protest against lynchings. In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings , inspired by Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana.

When Holiday heard the lyrics, she was deeply moved by them — not only because she was a Black American but also because the song reminded…

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