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Strange Fruit

Alys Caviness-Gober

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Strange Fruit


Alys Caviness-Gober


Painting - Acrylic


Impression of the haunting lyrics of Billie Holiday's song, "Strange Fruit." From a few tree branches hang three shapes of lynched figures, inspired by a terrible event in Indiana history, the August 7, 1930 lynchings in Marion, IN of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, two African-American men. A third African-American man, 16-year old James Cameron, was also lynched, but was cut down before he died. Cameron became a Civil Rights activist throughout the 1950s and 1960s; he marched with Dr. King and later founded America￿s Black Holocaust Museum in 1988. In 1937 Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from New York, saw a photograph of the Marion, IN lynching and it inspired his poem "Strange Fruit," which then inspired a song by Billie Holiday. The hanged bodies represent not just those three Indiana men, but the thousands of lynchings that occurred in the United States (over 5,000 recorded; total number = unknown). The lynched figures dangle above a burning cross, symbolizing the domestic terrorism perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan, which was active in Indiana throughout the Civil Rights Era.


February 8th, 2013


Viewed 148 Times  -  Last Visitor from Spring, TX on 04/15/2014 at 1:03 AM



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