Today's Strange Fruit Mention of the Day is an event on Thursday, February 8th that we've really looking forward to attending. There's still time to register for "The Billie Holiday Symposium," at Hunter College's Roosevelt House (both in person and on Zoom). The gathering celebrates "the artistry of Billie Holiday and the publication of Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year, a new book by Paul Alexander."
Today's Strange Fruit Mention of the Day is courtesy of The Black Wall Street Times and highlights a fascinating upcoming in-person and virtual program at The Guthrie Center: "Tri-City Collective, in partnership with Tulsa Artist Fellowship and the Woody Guthrie Center, will present 'Strange Fruit: The Art and Activism of Billie Holiday,' a live in-person and virtual discussion, on Saturday, December 16, 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Woody Guthrie Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, coincides with the Woody Guthrie Center’s exhibition entitled Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill."
Today's Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes from MSN's "20 songs that changed the course of musical history."
Billie Holiday's recording of "Strange Fruit" kicks off the list:
Today's Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes from singer Amahla, whose latest single, "Enough," deals with "inter-generational truths from Black communities, it deals with trauma, but also unity, and perseverance." The artist explains that her song was shaped by recent events, including Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict for George Floyd's murder and the news of the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Today’s Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes from The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma courtesy of a new photo exhibit focused on Billie Holiday. According to the Director of The Center, Cady Shaw, “Woody Guthrie and Billie Holiday were iconic figures in folk and jazz music who left an indelible mark on America… Their performances and shared commitment to fighting against racism and injustice cemented their legacies as influential voices of resistance.”
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.)
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.