Monday, November 21, 2011

Slavery Song

The song attached is a song called Strange Fruit sung by Billie Holiday.  The song was first recorded in 1939, during the great depression when racism was still very prominent.  Also, the time at which this song was written and recorded, was the time when arts were prospering in Harlem.  Harlem is a neighborhood in NYC, and during the 1920's and 1930's was when Harlem underwent an era "The Harlem Renaissance", in which inspiring music was produced that would influence many people.  This disproved many stereotypes that were held against black people regarding their artistic capability and humane intentions in general.  Also, Billie Holiday herself was born in Harlem, and in fact played an important role in the Harlem Renaissance.  The lyrics in the song itself are quite disturbing, vivid, and depressing; which ultimately adds to its impact on people.  The song exposed the terrifying effects of lynching and of American racism.

"Southern trees bear a strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black body swinging in the Southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees."

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