Today’s #StrangeFruitMOTD comes courtesy of an update of the classic song entitled, "Estranged Fruit” from Fishbone featuring NOFX. According to a press release, "'Estranged Fruit' is Fat Mike’s update on one of the greatest compositions in this country’s songbook, Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiday’s 1939 'Strange Fruit.'" Learn more and listen to "Estranged Fruit" at https://consequence.net/2023/05/fishbone-nofx-estranged-fruit-stream/
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.)
Happy birthday to activist artist Billie Holiday, born #OnThisDay in 1915. She is perhaps best known for her performances of Abel Meeropol's powerful anti-lynching song, "Strange Fruit."
Today's #StrangeFruitMOTD is a haunting reimagining of Abel Meeropol's anti-lynching song, "Strange Fruit." Tony award winner Tonya Pinkins delivers a powerful performance of "Strange Fruit, Revisited," a George Floyd protest song which tells a modern story of anti-Black violence.
Strange Fruit Mention of the Day: The lyrics to "Strange Fruit" were not subtle; the song's author Abel Meeropol juxtaposed the "pastoral scene of the gallant south" against graphic depictions of lynching, which the article describes as a "sickening historical tale."
According to PBS, Billie Holiday began performing "Strange Fruit" live at Cafe Society in NYC and would end her show with it each night ("nothing could follow it"). Even today, the song "has the power to startle," still unnervingly resonant with "a legacy of violence, hurt and fear" the U.S. has yet to overcome.