I am in the second stage of this project I call, Strange Fruit.
I teach a class at the University of Tampa called Mass Media and Society and came across a video a couple of years ago that completely threw me off balance. I decided to use it while focusing on the racism aspect of the media. One of the sections I teach is racism in music. It has actually become quite cliche’ these days and I often shake my head and wonder what these “artists” are thinking. The video Strange Fruit by Nina Simone (also sung by greats like Billie Holliday, and Diana Ross) struck me as a different way to depict racism in the media. This video shows a sad part of our history and the struggle to come to terms with it.
Warning…Graphic depictions of a very sad time in our history.
Here are the lyrics:
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies 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 magnolias, clean and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.