Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: Kehinde Wiley's 2012 painting "Judith and Holofernes" is a modern take on a Biblical story reimagined time and again in classical arts, this time depicting a Black woman in the role of righteous Judith, and a white man in the role of the oppressor Holofernes. As the Op-ed's author Austin Dunlow points out, NC Lt. Gov.
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: “'Strange Fruit,' was originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol, entitled 'Bitter Fruit.' As a song sung by Holiday, it became a classic. However, the words of the song painted a vivid picture of lynching and racism which was prevalent at the time, she was forbidden to sing it." https://guardianlv.com/2021/04/for-billie-holiday-the-struggle-was-real/ #StrangeFruitMOTD
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: When donations seemingly come to the RFC from out-of-the-blue, Executive Director Jenn Meeropol always wishes she could understand donors' motivations for contributing this particular amount at this moment in time. She recently had a surprising and delightful email exchange with one such donor which she shares in her new blog, "'Strange Fruit' and the Magic of Out-of-the-Blue Donations."
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: #checksout ✅ "The notion that Baldwin — perhaps the most prominent Black American writer of the 20th century — was taught English literature by a white, Jewish teacher who also happened to write the most prominent anti-racist anthem of the 20th century, is an alluring piece of historical happenstance. It is also true." #strangefruitmotd
PS - This article contains a rather sweet letter exchange between Abel Meeropol and James Baldwin. Highly recommend giving this a read all the way through.
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: Tomorrow morning, you can catch RFC Founder Robert Meeropol & Advisory Board member Michael Meeropol on CBS's "This Morning: Saturday"! They were interviewed for a segment on #strangefruit which will include info about their father (& songwriter), Abel Meeropol. We’re told it will air at apprx. 7:45 AM EST and will also be available to stream afterwards on the show’s website, here: https://www.cbsnews.com/cbs-this-morning/saturday/.
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day:
No more #strangefruit. RIP #GeorgeFloyd, #MaKhaiBryant, #DaunteWright, #AdamToledo, & so many others. #BlackLivesMatter
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Poem by Jessica Foster, June 2020. Image posted by @gindaanis via Twitter. #StrangeFruitMOTD
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: “Though we know Billie Holiday’s voice as one that redefined jazz, her voice also heralded an anti-racist movement throughout the ’40s and fought for survival against the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. She should be revered as the musical genius, activist and trailblazer she was.”
Her signature style also inspired Frank Sinatra who called her his "single greatest musical influence."
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: This is a great piece (*w/ a few errors, noted below) from author Tayo Aluko in The Progressive. Abel Meeropol, who adopted Ethel & Julius Rosenberg's two sons, is best known for having written the lyrics for the anti-lynching song "Strange Fruit", but he also wrote the lyrics to "The House I Live in" which envisioned a democratic, anti-racist America.
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: Today we're listening to "I Can't Breathe" by H.E.R., a powerful protest song named 2021 "Song of the Year" at the Grammys, written in response to recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other unarmed Black people "who we are still fighting for." H.E.R. evokes Billie Holiday's performance of the anti-lynching song "Strange Fruit" with the lyrics: “That kind of uncomfortable conversation is too hard for your trust-fund pockets to swallow/ To swallow the strange fruit hanging from my family tree.”
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: "When Billie Holiday became famous for singing Strange Fruit, not many knew the story behind its Jewish composer and lyricist, Abel Meeropol. . .The iconic song began life in 1937 as a poem written by Meeropol, a Jewish writer, teacher and songwriter of Russian-Jewish extraction, under his pseudonym Lewis Allan."