Today's Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes from Cassie Williams’ powerful “poem and essay on black motherhood—and life, ‘Even Breathing Is Strange: Reflections on the 3rd Anniversary of George Floyd’s Murder:’
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 Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes to us from Torri Williams, a Coalition Leader of the Marion Community Remembrance Project. The city of Marion in Indiana served as the inspiration for Abel Meeropol's anti-lynching song, "Strange Fruit," when he came across a gruesome photo of the 1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abe Smith which took place there.
Torri shared with us the winning entry of a recent Racial Justice Art Contest, a sculpture entitled "Strange Fruit," created by 17-year-old student artist, Claudia McGinness.
Happy birthday to activist artist, feminist and civil rights icon Nina Simone, who would have turned 90 today.
In 1965 Simone recorded her own harrowing rendition of "Strange Fruit," the powerful anti-lynching song penned by Abel Meeropol and made famous by Billie Holiday.
Simone once called it "about the ugliest song I have ever heard. Ugly in the sense that it is violent and tears at the guts of what white people have done to my people in this country.'”
On this day (February 14, 1910) Abel Meeropol was born. He was a teacher and a poet, most famous for writing the anti-lynching poem, "Bitter Fruit," which he would later adapt to music and retitle as the song, "Strange Fruit."
He once said, “I wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ because I hate lynching, and I hate injustice, and I hate the people who perpetrate it.”
Today's Strange Fruit Mention of the Day comes all the way from Spain, where our former Granting Coordinator Tori Montemurro now lives and works. She reached out to share an interesting connection to the Rosenberg Fund for Children (which was founded by the adopted son of Abel Meeropol, author of "Strange Fruit") that she encountered at her new job.
Today's #StrangeFruitMOTD comes from Genevieve Gaignard's solo exhibition, "Strange Fruit," for Los Angeles Vielmetter, "a collection of pieces which agitate against the historical and modern-day lynching of Black Americans." This mixed-medium collection includes "provocative pieces" which "[aim] to disrupt: to amplify alternative narratives of racial violence and white supremacy."
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.