Synopses & Reviews
Recorded by jazz legend Billie Holiday in 1939, "Strange Fruit" is considered to be the first significant song of the civil rights movement and the first direct musical assault upon racial lynchings in the South. Originally sung in New York's Cafe Society, these revolutionary lyrics take on a life of their own in this revealing account of the song and the struggle it personified. Strange Fruit not only chronicles the civil rights movement from the '30s on, it examines the lives of the beleaguered Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol, the white Jewish schoolteacher and communist sympathizer who wrote the song that would have an impact on generations of fans, black and white, unknown and famous, including performers Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, and Sting.
Recorded by jazz legend Billie Holiday in 1939, "Strange Fruit" is considered the first significant song of the civil rights movement and the first musical assault against racial lynchings. The author discusses his revealing account of the song, chronicles the civil rights movement from the 1930s on, and profiles Holiday and songwriter, Abel Meeropol. Photos.
About the Author
David Margolick is a contributor to Vanity Fair and the former National Legal Affairs Editor for the New York Times. A four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, he is the author of Undue Influence and At the Bar. He lives in New York City.