Billie Holiday composed and performed the song Strange Fruit in 1930s with the main themes of the growing hypocrisy by the southern American whites and the increased lynching of the blacks as explained by racial discrimination. The book by David Margolick however fails to have an extensive analysis of the politics of racial discrimination and lynching of the blacks by the song but touches on the issues of race as influenced the music industry of the time. The main concern of Margolick in the book is on how such a single song as ‘strange fruit’ would stir up awareness in subverting political cultures that are rather backward as well as ‘reaching to the soul’ of the listener. The song is therefore portrayed as having been very effective in exposing the behind scenes efforts by the whites to promote desegregation while black artists took a lead in using creative arts to express themselves and protest against racial discrimination in the time. The book is therefore very clear on expressing such themes as martyrdom and suffering as were the song’s identity (Margolick 15-107).
The Strange Frui song as originally composed is portrayed as having been a very controversial and powerful type of jazz ballad within the story. Unlike the common themes such as love and dancing that are typical of jazz especially in moonlight, the song moaned the strange ‘fruit’ that trees from the south bore. Blood was on the trees’ leaves, as well as roots and this right away raised the eyebrows of people when the song was first performed within the January of 1939. Through well planned and neatly organized piece of art, sad, harsh as well as unforgiving words are what illustrate the feeling of Holiday towards racism. Through taking the traditional vocal jazz format, the song rose be very popular, controversial and influential of the time. Thematic concerns of a ballad jazz are often much ...
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