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STRANGE FRUIT

Hello Bloggers, I’m so glad you are continuing to not only blog, but are actually engaging in discussions that are so very vital not only to your growth and but to the stability of our country. It really doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat, Republican, Progressive, Independent, Conservative or a Tea Bagger, in this country you have the right to free speech, whether I agree with you or whether you agree with me. If we can just agree to disagree, maybe we can attempt to solve the problems of this country without the polarization, hate and vitriolic behavior.

My comment regarding “Strange Fruit” was highlighted in the final comments in my Blog dated September 4,2011, “Will the polarization of our country ever end”. It is my hope that some of you will already remember and know this comment. But as I continue, I need to add a warning to my remaining comments, which are sometimes initiated by the TV commentators, ” The following maybe offensive to those who continue to view the following content”.

“Strange Fruit,” is from a poem written by a Jewish high-schooler from the Bronx N.Y., Abel Meeropol, was sung and released in 1939, by the famous Black singer, Billie “Lady Day” Holiday, probably the first great Jazz vocalist of her time. Holiday had a very troubled life, raped at 11 years old, prostitute at 14, drug and alcohol addiction, sent to prison in her teens and finally her death at age 44 years old. When she sang the song, it brought tears to her eyes and tears to the eyes of every one who knew the meaning of the song.

If you Google the name Billie Holiday, you can hear her haunting and emotional rendition of the song!! YOU WILL BE MOVED!!!! Maybe it is ironic that Meeropol wrote the poem during the period of the persecution of Jews in Germany in the middle of 1930’s and the eventual extermination of 6,000,000 Jews by Hitler.

“Southern trees bearing 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. Pastoral scene of the Gallant South, the bulging eyes and the twisted mouth. Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh and then sudden smell of burning flesh. Here is a fruit for the Crows to pluck, for the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, for the sun to rot, for a tree to drop. Here is a strange and bitter crop”.

The Black Congressman referred to in my blog, was reliving in his mind, the factual history of how his ancestors were treated, as less than human beings, who were lynched, burned and brutalized in this country because of the color of their skin. He was telling the extremist element of the Tea Party, again he was talking about some, not all members of the Tea Party, that their preaching of racial hatred, reminded him of the days when ” Strange Fruit” was hanging from the trees.

Some will say that this is OLD news, but when white teenagers recently beat, ran over with a pickup truck , laughed and expressed joy at killing a “Nigger”, how far have we really come??? This incident happened only a few months ago in Mississippi.

Now is again the time to decide if you want to read on!!! I have attached an iconic photo taken by Lawrence Beitler in 1930 in Marion, Indiana. It vividly illustrates the “STRANGE FRUIT.” The Black men were falsely accused by a white teenager of rape after they allegedly killed her white boy friend. The rape was found to be a lie. This photo allegedly sold thousands of copies and was made into postcards to show off civic pride and white supremacy!! Most of the lynchings of this type actually occurred in the South ie. Emmett Till. ( taken from http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/lynching-of-young-blacks/)

Lynching of Young Blacks photo

Now focus on the faces of the white mob. They look like they are at a picnic, smiling, pointing and laughing. Is this where we are going?? Can we collectively do something to prevent these types of incidents?? Someone once said, “IF NOT NOW, WHEN!!!!” The Hatred and Vitriolic Comments are only producing more divisions in our society and the political divide is only adding fuel to the fire. Can an explosion be on the horizon?? Keep communicating, keep thinking and Keep Blogging.

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