Racism In Strange Fruit

1878 Words 8 Pages
“You see there’s leaders and there’s followers/but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” (14- 15). A lyric from “New Slaves” is able to depict that even after the abolishment of slavery; we are still slaves to consumers. "Strange Fruit" by Lewis Allan was written in 1939. This song depicts the harshness and brutality the minorities dealt with at the time when slavery was most evident. Numerous years later, Kanye West came out with a song title "New Slaves" in 2013. This song draws connections to the past and the way in which these people were treated. This song is a well thought out product that compares the treatment of minorities then and the treatment of minorities now. Although both poems were written years apart, each song brings up very …show more content…
In the first verse of the song “Strange Fruit”, Allen jumps right into the subject of brutality and the way in which how African American people were treated at that time. “Blood on the leaves and blood at the root” (2) is a sentence that makes reference to a time in the 1930’s when African American people suffered from lynching because of the color of their skin. Because there is blood on the root, this brings up the idea that this has gone on for a long time since the blood is at the root in comparison to the blood on the leaves being fresh. In addition, the blood on the root could be taken as a liquid that is hydrating the tree and giving it life. This could be a metaphor stating that the African American people are the reason why the economy in America was strong because they were often involved in the flourishing cotton industry. “Then the sudden smell of burning flesh” (8) in literal terms paints a picture of an African being burned to death for the color of their skin. This line paints an image of the inhumanity that was practiced through lynch mobs. In comparison, Kanye West’s song “New Slaves” puts an emphasis on the slavery and racism that was prominent in the years before and the years present. Kanye includes a partial line from “Strange Fruit” to bring a sense of awareness to the song and the meaning behind this lyric. “I see the blood on the leaves” …show more content…
“Strange Fruit” gives a firsthand look about the lynching and the aftermath of the incident. When lynchings were carried out, bodies were often left there until the body either disintegrated or was eaten; “Here is a fruit for the crow’s to pluck” (9). This line is referenced to the after math of the lynching. After they were hanged, the bodies were left there and were often eaten by the crows. This paints a picture of the inhumane acts that were done since they were left there to die and deteriorate. According to certain individuals, crows are a symbol of death because they often come around to eat dead things. “Crow” could also be used to symbolize Jim Crow and how the fruit symbolizes the African people. African people are the fruit in which Jim Crow would often attack. “Here is a strange and bitter crop” (12) is a line in the poem that depicts the idea that nothing was really done to help those who were suffering or are suffering. The crop is strange because the crop is neither plants nor food but instead a crop of humans. In order for a plant to continue being a crop it needs to reproduce. In this context, it means that racism continues to flourish off one another. In comparison, West talks about the racism and segregation that is still prominent years later. Although the literal slavery was abolished way back in the 1900’s, a different form of slavery has

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