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

A Guitar, A Cello, and The Day That Changed Music

November 23, 1936, was a very good day for recorded music.

Listen
Graphic

The Gospel Ranger

Outside the Appalachian mountains, his name was barely known. But Claude Ely influenced some of the pioneers of rock & roll.

Listen
css.php