Strange Fruit

Take a look at this. This song was originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a white, Jewish high school teacher from New York in an effort to expose American racist practices that mainly involved the abuse and murder (specifically lynching in the south) of African Americans. Soon after, Billie Holiday would find her work and make it known as one of the most influential anti-racisim songs ever heard.

Nina Simone then did a cover of this again in 1968 during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

Recently, Kanye West has included some of these lyrics in his song titled “Blood On The Leaves”. Even though his lyrics in are not reflective of fighting racism or suppression could he be proposing a subliminal message to his listeners or why would he title the song “Blood On The Leaves”?

I want you guys to think, why would a white women from the north care enough to write about this and what does that say about the severeness of the issue? Why would this song be redone over and over again within these time frames? Is this reflective of societal issues? Why might Kanye West bring these lyrics into a song long after the Civil Rights movement?  What parallels can we draw from the events of our world today and the past?


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