From a young age I have always had a keen appreciation for art and the aesthetics of art. Through my photography I love to capture moments in time to tell a story, to paint a picture for my audience.
In the photos shown here titled "Strange Fruit", the gold bananas and apples represent African Americans in a society that did not accept them. The orange, being the only fruit not painted, displays the contrast between the fruits. The fruits appear to be different in color, but at their core, they remain normal fruits. This conceptual idea can be applied to racism in the United States then as well as today. Black people were seen differently solely for the color of their skin. The progression of the paint splatters shown in the photos is intended to portray the progression of chaos throughout these terrible times.
Abel Meerpol, better known as Lewis Allan, was an American song-writer and poet. He is best known for his lyrical piece "Strange Fruit". Originally written and published in 1937 it was later recorded and more famously performed by Billie Holiday in 1939. The poem calls attention to the issues of racism at this time in history. Abel Meerpol was inspired to write this poem after viewing a photos of the lynching of African Americans. Since the performance by Billie Holiday, numerous artists such as Nina Simone and Annie Lennox have covered the song.
With the arrival of Black History Month, I am reminded of my history and how far my people have come, I am reminded of the unbearably unimaginable terrors and horrors my ancestors experienced. Growing up attending predominately white private schools, I was never truly exposed to or taught to appreciate the beauty of Black History Month. In the fall of 2016, I started my freshman year at Andrews University, the second most diverse university in the country. Starting in a new environment can be challenging and foreign, but I found that attending Andrews has been a complete culture shock for me. (A good one.) Joining clubs such as BSCF (Black Student Christian Forum) and ASA (African Student Association) have provided me the opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation as well as a more in depth understanding for those of African decent. I have learned so much of the African diaspora.
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.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is the fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.