The English singer and the 2010 X Factor runner-up Rebecca Caroline Ferguson has made a request to Donald Trump’s transition team: she will sing on the inauguration day only if she is allowed to perform ‘Strange Fruit’. This demand put forward by the 30-year-old singer has been a matter of controversy in the media.
Ferguson’s statement read, “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.”
The twitter has reacted sportively to Ferguson’s gesture.
— Julian Bovis (@julianbovis) January 3, 2017
Why is it controversial?
Lyrics by Abel Meeropol and the music by Billie Holiday, John Martyn, Nina Simoone and Robert Wyatt, Strange Fruit was blacklisted and banned from the United States. Reportedly, the song had been too controversial, tending to bring out the issue of white domination over the African Americans in the 20th century.
According to a review, the song was deemed as “a declaration of war… the beginning of the civil rights movement”.
Approximately, 3445 African Americans were lynched in the time frame of 1882 to 1968. This mass killing inspired the song. When the writer Abel Meeropol was teaching his class in the 1930s, his eyes fell upon a photograph of two hanged black men, who were facing allegations of robbery and rape. At the time when justice should have taken an action, they were abducted and killed. That instant gave birth to the song which later became recognized as the greatest song of the 20th century.
The photo spread all around the world. The photo not only represented a hate crime and racism, but also the pitch black history of the United States. While Donald Trump hasn’t responded to Rebecca Ferguson’s choice of song, it has confounded the media on how to react.