The “Song of the Century” according to Time Magazine in 1999, was written by Abel Meeropol (aka Lewis Allan) in the late 1930s. The stark and haunting anti-lynching anthem, which Meeropol originally wrote as a poem entitled “Bitter Fruit” before changing the name and setting it to music, was first performed by Abel’s wife Anne at teacher’s union meetings. Billie Holiday made an iconic recording in 1939, and numerous other artists have since released their own versions. Strange Fruit still inspires a vast array of art and culture around the world today.
#Strange Fruit Mention of the Day
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Performances & Recordings
Guest blog by RFC Founder Robert Meeropol, "My father Abel Meeropol was born in The Bronx in 1903 and grew up there. He was the son of Jewish immigrants..."
Smithsonian collection of Billie Holiday photos, artworks, recordings and more
Performance clips of Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill".
Weekly podcast of musings on politics, pop culture and black gay life (WFPL)
Information about the Tony award-nominated musical "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill," that recounts Billie Holiday's life story through the songs that made her famous.
A multi-media history and education project by Equal Justice Initiative documenting the history of lynching in America