Annie Lennox has been in the news the past few days. First she took aim at Beyoncé by referring to her as “feminist lite” and then stated that twerking “it’s not liberating, it’s not empowering. It’s a sexual thing that you’re doing on a stage; it doesn’t empower you”. I’m sure Beyoncé probably laughed off the comments as just Lennox making news since she has a new album dropping.
This week, Lennox released her sixth solo album Nostalgia which are covers of jazz classic songs. The cover that most notably stood out was “Strange Fruit” that was first made famous by Billie Holiday. “Strange Fruit” was a poem written by Abel Meeropol in 1937. Meeropol wrote the poem as a protest to the lynching that was occurring around the country at that time.
“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.” – Abel Meeropol from “Strange Fruit”
In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Lennox portrays “Strange Fruit” as ‘protest song’. Smiley does try to help lead Lennox in the right direction by asking her what does she think when she heard Billie Holiday sing the song. Again, Lennox doesn’t bring up lynching but instead make this about a totally different topic. Like how do you try to change the topic and then make it all about your agenda? Can’t be mad when persons of color react to your comments.
But how did Billie Holiday describe the ‘pastoral scene’ to Maya Angelou’s son, Guy? “It means when the crackers are killing the niggers. It means when they take a little nigger like you and snatch off his nuts and shove them down his goddamn throat. That’s what it means.”
Now let’s see Ms. Lennox describe that.