A Black Pop Star Wants To Sing "Strange Fruit" At Trump's Inauguration
A singer has said that she will perform at Donald Trump's inauguration, as long as she is able to sing "Strange Fruit."
Rebecca Ferguson was asked to attend and perform at the forthcoming inauguration, where she took to her Twitter account to offer a response.
"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."
Written by Abel Meeropol (a white Jewish man), "Strange Fruit" was originally recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, and later covered by Nina Simone. The song inevitably became an anti-lynching and anti-racism anthem, the song speaking to the horrors of victims that have suffered at the hands of lynching.
"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," are some of the lyrics from the iconic song.
Ferguson rose to prominence in 2010, when she was the Season 7 runner up of the British X Factor series. She is mixed race (her father is of Jamaican descent and her mother is British).
According to reports, Trump is having a hard time finding musicians to perform at his inauguration. Since December a handful of artists have rejected requests to perform at the event, including Elton John, Kate Perry, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and many others.
So far the only confirmed performers for the inauguration is 16-year-old Jackie Evancho (a former America's Got Talent singer), and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.