I don't care too much about music. What I like is sounds. -- Dizzie Gillespie
Home / Jazznews / Books / Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song
A+ R A-

Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song

Rate this item
(0 votes)


Discover how two outsiders Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants combined their talents to create a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called "Strange Fruit." In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn't either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever.

Gary Golio is the New York Times bestselling author of Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix. He has also counseled children and teens in the area of addiction. Gary lives with his wife, the author Susanna Reich, in Ossining, New York.


"Lynching: a strange and difficult but important topic for a song and for this picture book. . . . A must-read, must-discuss that will speak to children and linger with adults." --starred, Kirkus Reviews

"This is not an easy book, but it is powerful just like its theme. Consider for guided in-depth discussions on Billie Holiday and U.S. history." --School Library Journal

"The format and back matter make this most useful in a classroom setting, but it will be effective in prompting a discussion about one of the darkest times in U.S. history." --Booklist