Strange fruit: How Billie Holiday’s performance of the anti-lynching song politicized Black consciousness

Billie Holiday’s recording of the anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” has stirred and haunted generations of listeners. A new article in the Journal of African American History, titled “Professional Mourning: Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ and the Remaking of Black Consciousness,” presents a detailed history of the song and argues that Holiday’s rendition, released in the 1930s, brought the Black community together at a moment of unique social and political struggle.

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