On this day (February 14, 1910) Abel Meeropol was born. He was a teacher and a poet, most famous for writing the anti-lynching poem, "Bitter Fruit," which he would later adapt to music and retitle as the song, "Strange Fruit."
He once said, “I wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ because I hate lynching, and I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetrate it.”
Abel was born into a left-wing, labor-oriented family, the son of Jewish immigrants, and was politically active himself. Following the Rosenberg's executions in 1953, Abel and his wife Anne adopted Ethel and Julius' two sons, Michael and Robert. The two boys who had been traumatized by the arrest, trial and execution of their parents took solace in the love and stability they found with the Meeropols.
Robert eventually founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children as a way to give back to the extended progressive community whose support allowed the boys to thrive despite everything they'd been through.
In the photo is a happy family portrait of the Meeropols at their home at Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. (From left to right: Abel, Anne, Michael and Robert.)
Happy birthday, Abel Meeropol. Today we celebrate your life and legacy!