Talk to Your Black Sons About ‘Strange Fruit’ and Modern-Day Lynchings

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  • A friend from Chicago, a black female physician, had a sobering conversation with her three school-age sons days before a Florida jury failed to convict Michael Dunn of the premeditated murder of Jordan Davis, a black teenager, in a dispute over loud music.

    “I presented the concept of “Strange Fruit” to them through poetry, music and the frightening visual …but with Trayvon Martin as an example,” said the doctor who is deeply concerned about how white men view young black men.

    She was offering her sons a powerful historical testimony to bring past to present to discuss an emerging crisis targeting young black males in America today – a crisis that could also be described as modern-day lynchings.

    “Strange Fruit” was a song performed by Billie Holiday in 1939. The song exposed racism in America, particularly the lynching of black men in the South. A chilling photo of two black men who were lynched and surrounded by racist white men in 1930 was the inspiration for the song written by teacher Abel Meeropol. A video that accompanies Holiday’s song shows eerie black-and-white photos of Ku Klux Klansmen in hoods burning crosses and watching half-nude black men hanging from trees.

    Southern trees bear a 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.

    So how did my friend’s sons react to Billie Holiday’s song, the video, and a mother’s life lesson?

    “Sad. Mad. Processing,” she said.

    Another friend, a black male journalist from Washington, D.C. who has two young sons, has pulled his sons aside on several occasions, looked them in the eyes, and talked to them about how unfair life can be for young black men in America – and how the situation is getting worse.

    And yet another friend, a black female college professor from St. Louis who has written extensively about challenges facing black boys, is trying to decide when – and how — to talk to her sons (6 and 7 years old) about this crisis where young black men are being shot down senselessly.

    She, too, is extremely concerned about a disturbing pattern where young black men are being shot by white men who claim to be standing their ground in self-defense.

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    45 thoughts on “Talk to Your Black Sons About ‘Strange Fruit’ and Modern-Day Lynchings

    1. Ever got help from some one out side your race. White people need to speak up ,speak louder.
      I think all are cowards and enemies of USA.
      This is word, “there is a storm coming” and no one will be passed over.

    2. I’m not even racist. I just fucking hate niggers and wiggers. Nothing against black people. In fact I have banged a couple black girls myself. What can I say? I’m coo-koo for cocoa cunt! And some of my best friends are black. But they aren’t niggers lol my best friend dennae is a geology major and has an amazing internship lined up. Now ask him if he is afraid of stand your ground laws.

        • In the United States, a White person is almost six times more likely to be killed by another White person than by a Black person, according to FBI homicide data. In 2011, there were more cases of Whites killing Whites than there were Blacks killing Blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for the period of 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang homicides were committed by White offenders, and the majority of gang homicide victims (56.5 percent) were White. According to statistics from the Justice Department, White men are more likely to kill than any other racial group. When the Bureau of Justice Statistics collected homicidal rates from 1980 to 2008, they found that compared to Blacks, Whites were more likely to kill children, the elderly, family members, and their significant others. They commit more sex-related crimes, gang related crimes, and are more likely to kill at their places of employment.

    3. d I feel this should be a discussion for all sons and daughters. Not strictly black people this issue effects us all as a nation. It should be views not as black history but human history. Every child should be taught about this type of injustices. Have it be made clear this is not right. It should never be repeated,and the fact violence to this day continues showed we still have a long way to go.

        • In the United States, a White person is almost six times more likely to be killed by another White person than by a Black person, according to FBI homicide data. In 2011, there were more cases of Whites killing Whites than there were Blacks killing Blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for the period of 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang homicides were committed by White offenders, and the majority of gang homicide victims (56.5 percent) were White. According to statistics from the Justice Department, White men are more likely to kill than any other racial group. When the Bureau of Justice Statistics collected homicidal rates from 1980 to 2008, they found that compared to Blacks, Whites were more likely to kill children, the elderly, family members, and their significant others. They commit more sex-related crimes, gang related crimes, and are more likely to kill at their places of employment.

    4. What is so wrong about killing a gangsta? One who idolizes murderers and rapists. All these nigglets want to grow up to be bloods and crips just because they think it is tough. Now if you send your BLACK son to school and raise him right and teach him not to be violent then he won’t become a thuggish coon.

    5. I think so. Not actually knowing our real history has deprived us of growing into what we have been destined to become. We will never be able to evolve from the current state do we were in because we don’t have any connection or understanding of the reason why we have gotten to this point as a people. Is our youth mean in particular learn about our history and the things that were done to us to make us into a people that we are now even as it relates to our diet or the way we treat one another, we will be given a solid foundation to grow from and then in this case we will not let someone do it to us again not will we keep doing it to ourselves.

    6. Since we are all God’s children(supposedly) no one should be acting this way but I guess as long as the devil is in the midst of it all it will continue to be.

    7. I too remember thoses days here in Memphis. I grew up here during the 60′s when it was not safe for a black man or boy to be on the streets, even in their own nieghborhood. Before king was killed we had to be off the streets by 9:00 pm or we stood a chance of getting beaten by the police or worse. My mother told my brother and i that when the sun went down we had better be in the yard because she didn’t want to have to come and identify the body as she told us of what was ging on during the civil rights movement.

      • Lele shut your stinking ass mouth up. You know I’m right. Till then I hope all white men arm themselves and keep mowing down these 17 year old gangsta punks.

      • So sad that this should still happen today and parents should still have to talk to their children about this. Racism goes many ways and burdens more than just “whites” and “blacks”. We have to know what’s right, teach and do what’s right, and steer clear of those who hate us simply because of the color of our skin. Is there more that could change the southern judicial system or politicics in situations like these that were recently on the news? I find them infuriating yet feel so powerless to do anything.

    8. I am so tired of hearing about white man this white man that racism is not created by a race white or black it is created by men who teach our youth to hate each other over another man’s personal issues wake up people stop looking fora race to blame

    9. Racism is an evolved tool for sexual selection and an unconscious competitive strategy in reproductive/sexual competition in humans. Those that use it have unconscious aims to eliminate competition for mates from other races, which results in sexually handicapping a larger group of individuals than other denigrative individual categories of weight, height, education, beauty. Racism is the sum total, of all the unconscious strategic moves by one race to render another race ineffective in mate competition.

      Anything that human beings, along with every other species do, that manifests itself as a widespread phenomenon or more specifically a common behavior trait has to have a reproductive benefit. The end game in all organisms is survival towards reproduction. Some have always said that everything we do, we do to the glory of god. I say that everything we do, we do to the maximization of our reproductive success. Racism is not the end in itself but is a procedural and statistical tool that humans incorporate in the everyday arsenal to further the propagation of their genes.?

      Racism = Pigment tribalism —> {Tool for sexual selection and a leg up(inexcusable pun) in mate selection, monopolization of reproductive resources by denigrating other races.}

    10. I wish they would teach their boys to stay away from them devils! A White Woman taught Michael Dunn to hate, and a Asian or whatever GZ is taught him to hate Black people.
      I just do not understand the DBM-A that will not loose that slave mentality.

    11. These are two different arguments black on black crime and racist white on black crime. It sickens me when blacks use this argument, rationalization, and justification instead of understanding racist crime is about the color of ones skin, and black on black crime has to do with internalize hatred is a lack of respect for self and your brother from another mother. Please let’s not confuse the two and one doesn’t justify the other.

      • Different arguments indeed, however the source is the same. They’re both hate based. Where exactly does this internalized hate and lack of respect for one another come from? If you exist in black skin and know anything about our history here in the United States, I’m certain that you know the answer.

    12. The fruit is still being picked from the tree’s! Check out The BlackMan(State of Emergency) on Youtube. We need to be AWARE!

    13. WE must be responsible for our actions and those that we allow to be inflicted upon us. None of this is new under the sun, therefore by now we should be operating from a space of intelligence vs. ignorance to what is happening in our communities. We must stop the violence toward and against each other; this is HUGE!! More of our young black men or lost to the prison system and genocide than Stand Your Ground. What are we collectively doing about that? Very little, and that is simply unacceptable!! In the words of Spike Lee, “WAKE UP!!” We MUST wake up and take ACTION.

    14. Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer has gone so far as to Support the practice “work at home”, it is the nicest way to earn more and more money at home.$55h – $80h…how? part time or full time, I’ve been bringing in $82h… , You can make $55h easily.Here is good example recomended by professionals.
      >>>>>> BAY91.­­ℭ­­Oℳ

    15. it’s alright to teach OUR Negroid Children about the Pre-Columbus period. The Native Aborigines, and the Olmecs who pre-dated the Aborigines. it’s alright to teach them about the African Moors who sailed here as “Free Men” during the Kidnappings, Abuse and Torture periods(Slavery). and it’s alright to teach them about the FIRST HIGHLY ADVANCED SPIRITUAL PRECINCT… AFRICA’S EGIPT(THE FIRST SOCIETY THAT DOESN’T HAVE A “BIRTH DATE RECORD”) IT’S OKAY PARENTS!!

    16. When will we as Country be able to move on from racial issues that divide us? Is there really a need to constantly talk about things such as so call modern day lynchings? Can we just all be Americans, who want the same things out of life, Great Education, Successful Careers and Life, A Beautiful Family and the opportunity to achieve whatever we want in life. I’m aware of past racial Atrocities, but I tend to put all of my focus on the present and the future to succeed. I have always viewed myself as an American who has the opportunity in this Country to accomplish anything and everything that I want to accomplish, and life has really worked out that way. I know America isn’t perfect, but I feel with all of the negatives here, the positive things far out weigh them!

    17. I think that is the problem we talk to much and seek very little action. To get white peoples attention in the black community we need to start hitting there pockets. Look at the bus boycott and how much money was lost. Pick a product every month and stop buying or using together as one black community and see what type of reaction we get.

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