Sunday, December 02, 2012

STRANGE FRUIT -the song haunts me.

I ask people about this song.
Many don't know it. Don't know the story behind it.
It haunts me.
The horrors of racism.
I have lived with it myself in a small way - being abused by racist behaviour in our country just because I stood and stand with anyone who is being oppressed.
MUCH more have people of colour who experience terrible things.
Even until this day.

This is Civil Rights USA.
People laying their lives down to overcome the hole that nation was in.

One powerful story::
 On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order that she give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. 
Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps in the twentieth century, including Irene Morgan in 1946, Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, and Claudette Colvin nine months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience.
Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a new minister in town who gained national prominence in the civil rights movement.

Watch it and feel the music - let the lyrics enter deep in your soul.

A bit about the song first::
Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who released her first recording of it in 1939, the year she first sang it. 
Written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it exposed Americanracism, particularly the lynching of African Americans
Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States. 
The writer, Abel, set it to music and with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as aprotest song in New York venues, includingMadison Square Garden.

Here we have Nina Simone singing so powerfully.