Andra Day delivers a riveting rendition of Billie Holiday’s 1939 historic song “Strange Fruit” for Lynching in America, a movement geared at bringing awareness to 4,000 reported racial terror lynchings in America between 1877 and 1950. The accompanying music video glows with every flawless and comforting note from Andra’s mouth as she unravels the memories of a violent time in American History.
“Billie Holiday is one of the greatest inspirations for what I do now. She used her music as her platform and her voice to speak for people who were not able to speak for themselves,” Andra Day states. “I am equally inspired by the work of Bryan Stevenson and EJI and I hope this song ignites new conversations about the connection between our past and present.”
Andra will perform “Strange Fruit” as part of her set at the Global Citizens Festival in NYC on September 23rd.
According to a press release:
The goal of Lynching in America, which brings EJI’s multi-year investigation into more than 4,000 reported racial terror lynchings that took place in the United States during the period between Reconstruction and World War II to life, is to spark a national conversation about the connection between America’s painful history of racial violence and the forms of injustice that exist today. This includes racially-biased capital punishment, excessive sentencing, disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities, and police abuse of people of color.
As part of Google’s focus on Inclusion, the company has given more than $2 million in grants to the Equal Justice Initiative. In addition, Google volunteers have been working with the organization to digitize the Lynching in America research and ensure that as many people as possible have access to the information and content. The Equal Justice Initiative firmly believes that until we face the truth of our past, we cannot heal the deep wounds of our present.
Bryan Stevenson, the Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative says, “In this collaboration between Andra Day, EJI, and Google, we use music to express a painful and difficult truth about our nation’s history of racial inequality. Inspired music has the power to expose and confront injustice differently than research, data and words alone. It can heal and uplift us, it’s critical for human rights. Justice work needs a soundtrack that inspires the struggle, it’s energizing that talented artists like Andra rise to the challenge.”er-known period in history. As a proud sponsor of the Global Citizen Festival, Google is excited to work with Andra Day and EJI to bring this message to a broader audience