Billie Holiday Performs "Strange Fruit" Live in 1959

This Billie Holiday "Strange Fruit" video features the iconic jazz musician singing her revolutionary Civil Rights song live in 1959, the year of her death. The anti-lynching song describes the battered bodies of people who had been lynched hanging from the trees. The "Strange Fruit" song begins with the lines:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root.

The song led to Billie Holiday being targeted by the federal government in an effort to silence her, which is depicted in the 2021 movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday, in which she is portrayed by musician Andra Day. Related Article: The United States vs. Billie Holiday: History vs. Hollywood







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