“Strange Fruit” was a controversial song about lynching, recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. The lyrics were from a poem by Meeropol. Going to deeper focus beyond the song itself is the acquiescence of a backdrop for what lynching represents. After years of meandering debates, Congress has finally passed anti-lynching legislation.
Lynching is a heinous crime against humanity. It has been around since colonial times. Finally, in 1882, the number of African Americans lynched in America surpassed other groups and has been growing ever since. Groups, some organized and some not used lynching for terrorism, intimidation, and oppression of African Americans and other marginalized communities of color through the Jim Crow era to the present.
“Figurative and social deaths that may involve many of the characteristics of corporeal or historical lynchings, such as the suppression of the truth, slander, proxy targets, the criminalization of blackness, presumption of guilt, shame, degradation, and the legitimization of the myth of whiteness as normative.” “High Tech Lynching”: White Virtual Mobs and University Administrators as Policing Agents in Higher Education: Biko Mandela Gray, Stephen C. Finley, Lori Latrice Martin
As these acts of murder and violence persist, Three-Fifths Magazine digs a little deeper into how figurative lynching plays out through psychological terrorism, actual intimidation, and the oppression that continues to plague communities of color and elude the legislator’s pen.