Right off, a hat tip to DaMadFiddler for this diary.
Please click over to this diary for the Josh White version.
I love Josh White but I had not heard this version of "Strange Fruit", a Jazz Protest Song on the subject of lynching.
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,Billie Holiday does the definitive version.
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Nina Simone brought the song back during the Civil Rights struggle. This clip has music and interviews showcasing the beliefs of this strong minded woman. Be warned, this is an extremely powerful video and very graphic.
The ugliness of it. That is about the ugliest song I have ever heard. Ugly in the sense that it is violent and tears up the guts of what white people have done to my people.Never forget. This is our history. And it's not over. Violent racism is not gone. Some people would gladly return to the days of lynchings. It is a constant struggle for all Americans, not just Black Americans.
- Nina Simone
Now here is Dee Dee Bridgewater singing "Strange Fruit" in 2009.
Just look at her concentration as she delivers the meaning of the lyric of this historic classic in a modern setting.
That's what it takes to approach this song.