Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
Graphic
Histories ›

Strange Fruit: Voices of a Lynching

“Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck, for the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, for the sun to rot, for a tree to drop. Here is a strange and bitter crop.” -Abel Meeropol

Poet and songwriter Abel Meeropol wrote that lament after seeing a photograph of two black teenagers hanging from a tree. Strange Fruit was later made famous by Billie Holiday. But a third boy escaped being lynched that fateful day, 80 years ago, in Marion, Indiana. James Cameron was believed to be the only African American to have survived a lynching. Decades later, a box of recordings was found in a basement. They contained the recollections of people who witnessed or took part in the events of that day.

Photo credit: Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, August 7, 1930, photographed by Lawrence Beitler.

Comments are closed.

You may also like ...

Graphic

Ballad for Americans

How a ten minute operatic folk cantata managed to unite Democrats, Republicans and Communists.

Listen
Graphic

Burma ’88

25 years ago, university students in Burma sparked a countrywide uprising. They called for a nationwide strike on 8/8/88, a date they chose for its numerological power.

Listen
css.php
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE