"Strange Fruit"

The Story: Abel Meeropol, a white, Jewish high school teacher from the Bronx and a member of the communist party, wrote "Strange Fruit" a poem as a protest against lynchings in 1937. Meeropol set it to music and with his wife, performed it as a protest song in New York venues, including Madison Square Garden.
During Billie Holiday musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer. She said that singing this song made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a part of her live performances. In 1939 "Strange Fruit” sold a million copies, in time becoming Holiday's biggest-selling record.
In this painting, each hanging represents a tragic event or time of senseless acts of racially motivated violence, murders and horrible atrocities in this country. The four little girls killed in the Birmingham, Alabama church bombing, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair; the Mississippi, brutal killings of Emmett Til, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (Andrew and Michael both white); the political assassinations of Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers; the mutilation of James Byrd; the disparity of justice of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant, and the list goes on. The bodies being burned and tied to the base of the trees represent the brutality of ignorance, and the social injustice, that NO people should have to endure because of their skin color.

Comment

You need to be a member of BLACK ART IN AMERICA to add comments!

Join BLACK ART IN AMERICA

Fiber arts...

Let the Church Say Amen celebrates spirituality with works in mixed media by renowned fabric artist Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Sonié's artwork is deeply rooted in the African American experience. Read

just in ...

A Rebuild Foundation/
Dorchester Projects Production

Living in Color: Radical Love
Wednesday, August 27

more

Buy art online...

New Works Just In our SBO Galleries

Members

Sponsor...

save the date...

© 2010-2014   Created by BLACK ART IN AMERICA™ / Copyright 2010-2014 BLACK ART IN AMERICA. LLC   All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service