Essay about Strange Fruit by Billy Holiday

Essay about Strange Fruit by Billy Holiday

Length: 1351 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

  Strange Fruit Break Down
  Strange fruit is an amazing dark poem that was sung by Billie Holiday as a very powerful deep meaning song. Strange Fruit is a terrifying protest against the inhumane acts of racism. Strange Fruit was about the murders and lynching going on in the south at the time from public hangings to burnings. The south has a cruel and terrifying past that still haunts people who live down there, reminding them that it was only a short time ago. Very rarely did any one person get prosecuted for killing a person of dark skin. It was difficult to bring suspected parties to trial when often times the whole town had some involvement.
While the lyrics never mention lynching, the metaphor is painfully clear:
Southern trees bear a strange fruitBlood on the leaves and blood at the rootBlack bodies swingin' in the Southern breezeStrange fruit hangin' from the poplar treesPastoral scene of the gallant SouthThe bulgin' eyes and the twisted mouthScent of magnolias sweet and freshThen the sudden smell of burnin' fleshHere is a fruit for the crows to pluckFor the rain to gather, for the wind to suckFor the sun to rot, for the tree to dropHere is a strange and bitter crop

  The second and third line "Blood on the leaves and blood at the root/Black bodies
  Griffith 2
swingin' in the southern breeze" Is a symbol to resemble how people in the south would
brutishly beat down black people and then hang them in a tree and watch them swing
back and forth when a wind blew. In line eight and nine "the sudden smell of burnin flesh/Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck" were both lines if imagery identifying that not only did they burn the bodies in the trees, but the people who were hung were hanging for the crows to fe...

... middle of paper ...

...n bring you to his understanding through more then one method of delivery. These emotions will be continued to be felt for generations to come.

Works Cited

Phillips, Caryl. "Blood at the Root." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 Aug. 2007. Web. 03 May 2014.
Blair, Elizabeth. "The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'" NPR. NPR, 05 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Heft, Harold. "'Strange' Evolution of Legendary Song." The Jewish Daily Forward. The Jewish Daily Forward, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 May 2014.
Daniels, Peter. "World Socialist Web Site." "Strange Fruit" The Story of a Song. International Committee of the Fourth International, 8 Feb. 2002. Web. 04 May 2014.
PBS. "The Murder of Emmett Till." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.
Dizon, Ashely. "Racism in the 1930s by Ashleydizon." StudyMode. StudyMode, May 2011. Web. 05 May 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Jazz The Sound Of The Heart Essays

- Jazz the Sound of the Heart In a blog written by Virginia Hughes she states that “Music moves people of all cultures, Vocal Jazz and collaborations with other sub-genres such as bebop jazz, cool jazz and hard bob didn’t only affected the culture throughout the eras, but created an outlet for many artists to express their repressed feelings during difficult time periods, and allowed a strong rooted foundation for Jazz in whole to continue to develop. “Vocal Jazz” has been able to touch the deepest human emotions through the voice of the songs and powerful melodies behind a way that doesn’t seem to happen with other animals....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, Billie Holiday]

Strong Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday Essay

-   Strange fruit is and amazing dark poem told by Billie Holiday as very powerful song. Strange Fruit is a terrifying protest against the inhumane acts of racism. Strange Fruit was about the murders and lynching going on in the south at the time from public hangings to burnings. The south has a cruel and terrifying past that haunts the very people who still live down there and remind them that only a short time ago was no one prosecuted for killing someone of dark skin since whole towns were involved in it....   [tags: racism, african americans]

Strong Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

The Strange Fruit By Abel Meeropol Essay

- Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit “is probably one of the greatest songs composed telling the chilling story about lynching. A little unknown fact is that it was written by a Jewish man by the name of Abel Meeropol. Initially “Strange Fruit” originated as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, as a protest against lynching of African Americans. Meeropol meet Holiday in a bar, where she read the poem, and decided to make the poem into a song. The record made it to No. 16 on the charts in July 1939. This song is probably Holiday’s most famous song she ever sung throughout her whole life....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Strong Essays
1138 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Strange Fruit ' By Abel Meropol Essay

- “Strange Fruit” is one of the famous poems made by Abel Meropol in the 1937. It is briefly discussed about the Civil Right Movement, as it is to highlight the racism against the black people that actually happened in the Southern America. Awareness among people had risen, as they have finally known the problems of racism there. In this poem, Meeropol uses contrast to highlight social contradiction happening in the Southern America with varieties literary techniques that will be discussed in this essay....   [tags: White people, Race, Black people, Latin America]

Strong Essays
982 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Families in Strange Fruit

- Families in Strange Fruit The family plays an integral role in perpetuating racial traditions in Maxwell. Heads of black families took it upon themselves to teach their offspring how to properly behave amongst white people. This entailed lessons in utter submission and complete subservience. White families also educated their kin about their superior role in society. "That's one of the Anderson niggers. Been to college. Yeah. Whole family been to college. All right niggers though, even if they have....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
677 words (1.9 pages)

The United Fruit Company : A Social Protest Essay

- The poem “The United Fruit Company” itself is considered as a social protest, and the protest topic is the history of inhumane doing of “The United Fruit Company” in the area of Central America. This poem is suitable for the comparison of the formalist way of viewing a poem and the non-formalist approach: it is based on historical facts, but carefully written so if we know nothing we can still understand it. In the beginning of the poem, “The Fruit Company, Inc.” is paralleled with other big successful companies like “Coca Cola” and “Ford Motors”, they earn so much in the market, as if “the Jehovah” collect all wealth of “the earth” and separate between those companies, another company name...   [tags: Banana, United Fruit Company, Banana republic]

Strong Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Stranger in a Strange Land Essay

- Stranger in a Strange Land Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein takes the themes portrayed in the book and directly criticizes the Western Culture. As Heinlein said, "My purpose in this book was to examine every major axiom of western culture, to question each axiom, throw doubt on it" (Jelliffe 161). These axioms are where feels the Western Culture fails and so he uses the themes to criticize humans of the Western Culture by pointing out these faults. The themes of the story portray this by having Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians, come to earth to teach his knowledge which contradict what the Western Culture feels to be true....   [tags: Stranger in a Strange Land]

Strong Essays
1908 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Reader Reaction to Billy Budd

- Reader Reaction to Billy Budd I approached Melville's Billy Budd with a mixture of trepidation and determination. I read the Introduction first, because I thought its purpose was to introduce the author, and place the selected stories in context and I thought this would be an aid to understanding. I was correct, but too correct, because Joyce Carol Oates, without warning of the spoiler, casually references Billy's death. I think this knowledge influenced my reading, because I was aware of the ultimate outcome, I read with the purpose of understanding why that came to be....   [tags: Billy Budd Essays]

Strong Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Comparing Jaco, Imaginary Day, and Strange Fruit Essay

- Comparing Jaco, Imaginary Day, and Strange Fruit Jaco, Imaginary Day, and Strange Fruit, all are wonderful musical pieces in their own distinctive way. Jaco sounds like it derived from the traditional percussion music; yet, this particular piece created its own unique style of percussion. In fact, all of these musical pieces modified traditional music, and left a lasting impression on the music industry and on society, in general. Each piece makes one want to explore its origins and analyze the true meaning of its poignant message....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1447 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Billie Holiday

- Billie Holiday Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of her poverty stricken childhood in Baltimore. Lady Day, as she was named by Lester Young, had to overcome many tragedies in her lifetime and yet still became one of the most popular jazz-blues vocalists of all time.      Billie's Parents, Sally Fagan and Clarence Holiday, were both born in Baltimore. They married as teens and soon Sally gave birth to Eleanora Fagan. Shortly after the birth, Clarence Holiday deserted his family to tour with Fletcher Henderson's band....   [tags: Music Holiday Biographies Essays]

Strong Essays
2150 words (6.1 pages)