Radio Diaries

Strange Fruit

Aug. 6, 2015

“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, after being lynched in Marion, Indiana, on August 7, 1930. Meeropol’s song, “Strange Fruit” was later made famous by Billie Holiday. A secret, missing from the photograph, is that a third black boy was supposed to die that fateful day. James Cameron is believed to be the only African American to have survived a lynching.

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