In the song "Strange Fruit"by Billie Holliday, what was the "strange fruit" of the song?Racism and cruel punishment was extremely harsh for African Americans between 1900-1945. On YouTube, listen...

In the song "Strange Fruit"by Billie Holliday, what was the "strange fruit" of the song?

Racism and cruel punishment was extremely harsh for African Americans between 1900-1945. On YouTube, listen to Billie Holliday's song "Strange Fruit."

 

Asked on by kguidry39

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This song is a song about lynching in the South.  The "strange fruit" referred to in the title are the bodies of the people who have been lynched.  They are called this because they are hanging in the trees like fruit should but they are clearly not normal fruit.  Here is a lyric that clearly shows that the "fruit" are black bodies:

Black body swinging in the Southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

This line shows that the writer of the song was imagining the bodies of lynched black people as fruit.  The song contrasted the genteel image of the south (with its magnolia blossoms) with the harsh reality of what lynching did to people (the graphic description of a dead person).

The song is really a very brutal and graphic denunciation of lynching.



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