Abel Meeropol, Billie Holiday and "Strange Fruit" Term Paper by Nicky

Abel Meeropol, Billie Holiday and "Strange Fruit"
A look at the inspiration for the poem "Strange Fruit" by Abel Meeropol and its transformation into a song by Billie Holiday.
# 129126 | 2,385 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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This paper discusses how Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from New York, saw an image of the lynching of two African - American men 1937 and was motivated by these terrible events to write a poem about the incident. The poem was adapted to song and sung by jazz luminary Billie Holiday and went on to become an iconic attack on racial injustice and prejudice in America. The paper attempts to present the history of the song as well as relevant aspects in the lives of Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiday. Insight is also be given on the history of racial lynching in America.

Overview: Abel Meeropol and "Strange Fruit"
The Song
Reaction to "Strange Fruit"
The Practice of Lynching
Billie Holiday

From the Paper:

"However from a very different perspective the song was hailed as revolutionary in many senses. In the first instance it was revolutionary because this was the first time that such explicit lyrics had been used in relation to the subject of racial prejudice and injustice. It was also seen as being revolutionary in that it succeeded in effectively "...reversing the black singer's relationship with a white audience. " This view is based on the fact that usually the black singer was expected to entertain and "serve" the white audience with music and song that did not upset or create discomfort. However, in the case of Strange Fruit, the white audience was shocked and had to listen to an uncomfortable message about severe prejudice and injustice committed against Black people in America. In singing this song, Holiday "...found a means by which she could demand that the audience stop and listen to her, and she was able to force them to take on board something with which they were not comfortable." "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Biography. November 22, 2008.http://www.cmgworldwide.com/music/holiday/about/biography.htm
  • Billie Holiday Biography (1915-59). November 22, 2008.<http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9341902>
  • Billie Holiday: PBS. June 26, 2007.<http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_holiday_billie.htm>
  • 'How one teacher wrote the 'best song' of the century; New book tells story behind a chilling poem'. 2000. November 22, 2008. http://nysut.org/newyorkteacher/2000-2001/001122billieholiday.html
  • Lynching. November 20, 2008.'http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAlynching.htm

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Abel Meeropol, Billie Holiday and "Strange Fruit" (2010, September 02) Retrieved August 10, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/abel-meeropol-billie-holiday-and-strange-fruit-129126/

MLA Format

"Abel Meeropol, Billie Holiday and "Strange Fruit"" 02 September 2010. Web. 10 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/abel-meeropol-billie-holiday-and-strange-fruit-129126/>