Strange fruit

I’ve been slowly reading the book I posted earlier about, 33 revolutions per minute by Dorian Lynskey. I decided to go easy with the book, only take one song at a time and digest the thoughts with patience.

I read the first chapter, about Strange Fruit, describing racial violence. I saw the photos the author had chosen to use.

The reading haunted me for several days.

Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Again, one of those experiences that stop you for a while and give you perspective.

I kept imagining how it would have been like to live in earlier times, when hearing Billie Holiday sing about lynchings was a big shock in society, but the actual lynchings were perhaps not fiercely condemned by many.

As all things visual appeal to me strongly, I kept staring at the photo in the book (similar photos available on the Wikipedia site on lynchings). Do you not start to wonder about the lives of the people you see hanged? I do.

Do you think they had any idea that what happened to them and many others, would fuel a change, stir great movement in society and inspire thought-provoking art then and even decades after?

This book about political songs is very powerful to me. I read it sparingly, don’t want to spoil the experience by devouring it too fast.

Those of us who are continuously interested and inspired by great political speakers, may have noticed that Sam Cooke’s A change is gonna come was quoted in Obama’s victory speech some years ago. A meaningful song to choose, as it has been considered the anthem of the civil rights movement in America. Surely not the only example, but perhaps one of the more known ones of the recent years.

Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

For me, hearing the quote in the speech was a West Wing moment at its best. Only it was real, not drama.

♦ In the meantime: Some say that by 2015 companies will generate 50% of their web sales via social presence. If you are a friend of infographics, see these explaining the argument.

♥ Song of the day: Mayer Hawthorne, The Walk

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