The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lays out the interdependent and interconnected nature of our rights and responsibilities as human beings. Through art, we can follow how our lives connect across generations, cultures, and geographic locations. The story behind the famous protest song, Strange Fruit, first performed and made famous by Billie Holiday and written by Jewish American songwriter Abel Meeropol*, illustrates the connections between different types of art, industries, and movements in history.
A few years ago, there was a discussion about this song and its history at one of our teacher and organizational leadership trainings. At that time, there was a heated debate about the song’s origins and history. Today, there are many resources, documentaries, and teaching guides that explore this topic thoroughly. We’ll be looking at Strange Fruit with resources for both learning more about (and teaching) civil and human rights through music.