Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Strange Fruit and the Inauguration

 

At 12:00 pm on January 20, 2017 Donald Trump will take the oath of office. In the past, U.S. presidential inaugurations have packed some serious star power. But finding artists willing to perform at this inauguration, proved harder than expected.

Elton John, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Ice-T, and Kiss were among those reportedly invited. They all declined. Then there was British singer and X-factor winner Rebecca Ferguson. She said she would consider performing at the inauguration if she were allowed to sing the song Strange Fruit. In a statement on Twitter, the singer called it,

…a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States.

It’s also a song we know very well here at Radio Diaries. So on this week’s podcast, we’re telling the story behind Strange Fruit. It begins with three men in a jail cell in Marion, Indiana. It ends with two deaths, one life spared, and a photograph that has become the most iconic image of lynching in America.

A warning, this story contains some disturbing and graphic descriptions of the lynching.

 

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