Singer Rebecca Ferguson has announced that she would accept an invitation to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on 20 January on the condition that she would be allowed to sing Strange Fruit.
The record was first released by Billy Holiday in 1939 and was later covered by Nina Simone in 1965. Strange Fruit is one of the most famous songs in America about racism.
The lyrics, penned by Abel Meeropol graphically describe lynchings of African Americans:
“Southern trees bear 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”
Ferguson who is best known for coming runner up in X Factor released a statement on Twitter, titled Inauguration ceremony, explaining that she would accept the offer to sing at Trump’s inauguration on one condition.
— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) January 2, 2017
“I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing Strange Fruit, a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and downtrodden 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. Best, Rebecca X”
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