Rebecca Ferguson, British pop singer and former UK X-Factor contestant, has been invited to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration – events already lacking star power. However, in response, she says that she will perform under one condition only – that she sings “Strange Fruit”. For those unfamiliar, “Strange Fruit” was originally made famous through the soulful tones of singer Billie Holiday, and the lyrics were penned in the 1930s by Jewish communist, Abel Meeropol, to shine the light on racism and lynching throughout the United States.
Southern trees bear strange fruit // Blood on the leaves and blood at the root // Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze // Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Ferguson released the statement:
“I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing “Strange Fruit” – a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down-trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington. Best, Rebecca X”