By David Margolick
The tale of the tune that foretold a move and the woman who dared sing it.
Billie Holiday's signature track, 'Strange Fruit', with its image and heart-wrenching portrayal of a lynching within the South, introduced domestic the evils of racism in addition to being an inspiring mark of resistance.
The song's robust, evocative lyrics - written by way of a Jewish communist schoolteacher - painting the lynching of a black guy within the South. In 1939, its functionality sparked controversy (and occasionally violence) at any place Billie vacation went. now not till 16 years later did Rosa Parks refuse to yield her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. but 'Strange Fruit' lived on, and Margolick chronicles its impression on those that skilled it first-hand: musicians, artists, newshounds, intellectuals, scholars, budding activists, even the waitresses and bartenders who labored the clubs.
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Extra resources for Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights
On the phone, Jaye struck Greve as a loose cannon. On May 1, 1997, Whyman, Jaye, and two other legislators issued a press release attacking Michigan’s “discriminatory racial preference policies,” referring specifically to the undergraduate and law schools. Students were told to contact the lawmakers if they had been denied admission or scholarships because of the university’s racial preferences. ” Stories appeared in both the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, and Whyman further publicized the campaign on radio talk shows.
The AAU, made up of sixty-two of the nation’s largest research institutions, seldom issued public proclamations. But with the attack on race-conscious admissions policies gathering momentum, a majority of the presidents concluded that an exception was warranted. After a lengthy debate, the presidents decided to issue a statement that not only praised the value of classroom diversity but said outright that universities needed to consider race as an admissions factor to achieve their educational goals.
The two had met through their joint membership in the Telluride Association, a selfgoverning residential community at Cornell that brought together students studying a range of disciplines to foster intellectual inquiry and leadership skills. Fair-skinned with neatly parted blonde hair and a preference for starched white shirts, Pell was straight-laced in appearance as well as demeanor. He was cautious with people he didn’t know well enough to trust and, unlike Greve, didn’t especially enjoy the limelight.