Presentation on theme: "”Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. Facts The song was written and published as a poem by a white Jewish school teacher/communist from the Bronx named."— Presentation transcript:
Facts The song was written and published as a poem by a white Jewish school teacher/communist from the Bronx named Abel Meeropol (Lewis Allen) in 1937. He wrote this poem after seeing a photograph of a lynching in 1930. The picture had a big impact on him and he felt that he had to do something.The picture His mission was to expose American racism and in particular the lynching of African Americans (former slaves) by the Ku Klux Klan. He performed the song with his wife and black singer Laura Duncan around New York, even on Madison Square.
More facts The song was first recorded in 1939 by Billie Holiday. She performed it at Café Society for a stunned crowd and at first silenced crowd. She would always play this song last. Billie Holiday sang USA into the civil rights movement the song changed the relationship between black artist and white audience. Some call the song “The anti-racist theme song” (first anti-racism song ever?) "Strange Fruit" was an early cry for civil rights—some might even say it was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Record producer Ahmet Ertegun called the song "a declaration of war," and jazz writer Leonard Feather said it was "the first significant protest in words and music, the first unmuted cry against racism."
Strange Fruit Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. Pastoral scene of the gallant south, The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth, Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh, Then the sudden smell of burning flesh. Here is fruit for the crows to pluck, For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop, Here is a strange and bitter crop.