This Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes from our friends at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): “On July 17, the Tallahassee Community Remembrance Project gathered with EJI and community members in Cascades Park, under the oak tree at the corner of East Gaines and South Meridian Streets, to dedicate a historical marker in remembrance of Ernest Ponder, Richard Hawkins, Mick Morris, and Pierce Taylor, Black victims of racial terror violence in Leon County, Florida. Although weather forced the ceremony indoors, hundreds of people were still able to participate in the program.
ICYMI: A thorough and personal reflection from RFC Founder Robert Meeropol about his father Abel Meeropol and his anti-lynching protest song "Strange Fruit." This is a recording from the World Fellowship Center's June 28th virtual event, "Strange Fruit: the Inside Story" covering the history and origin of the song, as well as its cultural impact over time. Stick around, too, for a lively discussion generated during the Q&A!
An alternative anthem that we love from Activist Artist, Jean Rohe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay1iC1zt24A.
Lyrics, with gratitude to Dr. Martin Luther King and Abel Meeropol, via Billie Holiday, provided by the artist:
Atlantic and Pacific flow
The Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico
The land between sustains us all
To cherish it, our tireless call
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.