Strange Fruit: The Voice of Protest

December 7, 2006

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David Margolick

In 1939, Billie Holiday took the stage at Café Society, a New York nightclub, and sang these words:  "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."

David Margolick talks about how "Strange Fruit" became an anthem for the civil rights movement.  He also examines the lives of Holiday and Abel Meeropol, the Jewish schoolteacher who wrote the song.  Margolick is the author of Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song and Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and A World on the Brink.

 

Recorded Thursday, December 07, 2006 at Alliance Française de Chicago.