Earlier this month on April 20th marked the anniversary of Billie Holiday recording "Strange Fruit" in 1939. The song was originally written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish activist, poet, and high school English teacher, in protest against the lynchings of Black Americans. (Abel and his wife Anne later adopted the Rosenbergs' two young sons after Ethel and Julius' executions.)
Holiday's recording of "Strange Fruit" introduced the song to wider audiences, selling more than a million copies. She first performed it at Cafe Society nightclub in New York City. According to the article, "jazz writer Leonard Feather called it 'the first significant protest in words and music, the first unmuted cry against racism.'"