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Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday

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Kayle Migaki

on 18 January 2016

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Transcript of Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday

"Strange Fruit": Billie Holiday
Components of a Song
Messages being Conveyed
What makes this a top
song of the Civil Rights time?
Destruction of Humanity
The tone of the song, "Strange Fruit" is a darkness that is
. It has a
feeling that sticks, and is hard to forget.
This song brings a
to a citizen of the United States, for it was our ancestors that hung innocent African Americans from trees as crops are. It also creates a
depressing image,
that burns its way into the listener's mind. It is a
idea that innocent people were being hung to death because of the color of their skin.
This song informs people about the horrible doings against African Americans. She is telling everyone about the fatal acts that are being done, in hopes it will spread awareness. It also recaps an important time in history that should be known and no repeated. To get the message out she forms the strong comparison of people to fruit. She is doing her part of getting the word out about the wrongness of the past and how it must be fixed.
It may not have been the most popular song at the time, but now listening to it and relating it back to history gives this song a strong link to the Civil Rights time.
While the song has such a powerful message, it conveys its power in
words that are easy to understand. Any songs that are easy to learn, make for the best chances that people will catch on.
The Meaning
The meaning of this song makes people connect to it on a higher level. It is easy to understand. It is also a poem that holds strong comparisons that are important to learn and pass down through generations.
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees"
"Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
The message being conveyed through the
lyrics talks about how the African Americans
were stripped of their rights. The song makes
the comparison of human beings to fruit, which
is exactly how the African Americans were
: not quickly forgotten
: having the ability to control or influence people or things
White citizens think it is okay to hang African American people from trees, even when they haven't done anything wrong. On the other hand
no African American ever hung a white citizen
. Since, the white citizens got the better education, they got better job opportunities, which
made them feel more superior to African Americans
. This led them thinking it was okay to kill them if they just so happen to have the wrong look on their face. They give them
no more respect
than they would give a
piece of fruit on a tree.
Lynching:an act of terror meant to spread fear among blacks, served the broad social purpose of maintaining white supremacy in the economic, social and political spheres. (PBS)
This song explains the inequality and destruction the African Americans experienced. The lyrics put the past into comparisons that have strong effects on people now.
This would spread awareness and really send a strong message, especially during the time of the Civil Rights.
The meaning of this song gives power to a powerless group of people. It gives them something to not give up on.
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
Full transcript