“Strange Fruit”: How Black Artists Defied U.S. Racism, Got It Right And Paid The Price | MSNBC

"Strange Fruit": How Black Artists Defied U.S. Racism, Got It Right And Paid The Price | MSNBC 1


As protests force a reckoning on policing, MSNBC’s Ari Melber reports on how Black activists and artists have confronted government racism, both in their work and their own lives. Tracing political and musical history ranging from Sam Cooke and Billie Holiday to N.W.A., KRS-One and 2Pac, Melber documents how these artists' work both channeled and influenced civil rights movements to this day. In the report, Melber breaks down several prescient lyrics, noting they pushed policy arguments that would gain traction decades later. He also reports how Black artists – like other civil rights leaders – often found their critiques of police brutality were tragically met with more police brutality; and Melber criticizes politicians in both parties who largely ignored these artists’ substantive critiques, in favor of attacking their music and free speech as a menace to society. Aired on 7/3/2020.
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"Strange Fruit": How Black Artists Defied U.S. Racism, Got It Right And Paid The Price | MSNBC

70 Comments on "“Strange Fruit”: How Black Artists Defied U.S. Racism, Got It Right And Paid The Price | MSNBC"

  1. All this yet still black sons and daughters are harassed, terrorized, brutalized and murdered by police, while many still claim systemic racism doesn’t exist.

    • @MW M “People like you will say or do anything to forward your lies. The same way the nazis did in Germany and the same way the communists did in the Soviet Union. You should be ashamed”.

      All this yet still black sons and daughters are harassed, terrorized, brutalized and murdered by police, WHILE MW M (Internet Troll) STILL CLAIM SYSTEMIC RACISM DOESN’T EXIST.

    • Oliver Seiler | July 4, 2020 at 1:02 AM | Reply

      you play stupid games with the police, you will win stupid prizes.
      george floyd was a disgusting criminal

    • @Oliver Seiler “you play stupid games with the police, you will win stupid prizes…”

      TRIGGERED much? But, why? Because American patriots are calling for equal rights and justice under the law? FOH!

    • MoreliaMan23 | July 4, 2020 at 2:12 AM | Reply

      @Nef Africia lol patriots? You mean communist traitors?

    • @MoreliaMan23 No. I mean PATRIOTS! American patriots! (who know, the people who fight to preserve the values of our constitution) Read the *uckin constitution.

      …nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. #stopkillingus

  2. Echinos Land Design | July 3, 2020 at 11:57 PM | Reply

    Whats with the music? But anyway great reporting.

  3. Disappointing that YouTube copywrite laws leaves the heart and soul of this subject – the music – out. Video is hollow without it.

    • @Candyliz2003 different company, so it won’t be able to display it unless YouTube/Google also purchased the Rights

    • MSNBC wont pay the extra money to play the music. They know they can virtue signal on the CHEAP.

    • Everything the Establishment Media does is hollow. Most Americans never heard of Dr. William Pepper and his book: “An Act of State – The Execution of Martin Luther King.” Dr. Pepper was Coretta Scott King’s attorney. You can bet your bottom dollar William Pepper will never appear on FoxNews or MSNBC. BLM? Yes, indeed. As long as you’re a consumer.

    • Candyliz agreed!

    • THE ANGRY QUAD | July 4, 2020 at 8:17 PM | Reply

      @Dave Schultz I pledge allegiance to my Flag and
      to the Republic for which it stands:
      one Nation, under god, indivisible, with Liberty
      and Justice for all.

  4. The Real Charlie O | July 4, 2020 at 12:12 AM | Reply

    Thank You MSNBC for covering this!!!!!

  5. RNC and DNC are two wings of same corrupt Bird, who has been bought by Rich corporations.

    It doesn’t matter who wins the election, rich will always take advantage of rest of the population!

  6. Anthony Wills | July 4, 2020 at 12:17 AM | Reply

    Remember when Trump said “I HAVE THE POLICE ON MY SIDE”??? That was a signal and the GOOD OL’BOYS got bolder with their AGENDA!!!!

    • SouthSide Chicago | July 4, 2020 at 10:15 AM | Reply

      @newmove Trump has done more in 3 1/2 years than Obama did in 8 full years. The media says Illinois ranks as one of the best states as far as limiting covid-19 infection, that is a lie. Illinois has more Covid deaths than Florida, Arkansas, and Texas combined! LMAO
      It’s ok to be angry and jealous kid. I’d be mad too if my political party constantly promised me things and NEVER came through.
      God Bless America, the Greatest country on the planet.

    • @SouthSide Chicago “I’d be mad too if my political party ” I’m a republican (recent ex member) you utter f*cking moron. It was knuckle dragging shroom chompers like you who triggered my leaving the party.
      As I’ve said repeatedly you have nothing intelligent to say so stop embarrassing your self and FO.

    • Remember when Biden authored the 1994 crime bill? He paved the way to mass incarceration of Black “Super Predators” and a lost generation. Trump turned that bill out! But Democrats say Orange Man Bad, so you have to fall inline. Hello lemmings, meet cliff.

    • @Dave Schultz Your lies just make people respect Biden all the more. Re-think your strategy.

    • Dave Schultz | July 4, 2020 at 3:16 PM | Reply

      @newmove , No, thats just TDS. I can neither cause, or cure it. 😵💫

  7. Leave us not forget Marvin Gaye’s “WHAT’S GOING ON?”

    • @Dave Schultz -No one said he was killed by police. The point was the song, “What’s Going On”. Come on dude, keep up here…otherwise you just look stupid!

    • @SouthSide Chicago -Ah, you’re one of those dumb-dumbs who think that BLM infringes on your racial BS, huh? Time-are-a-changing-get with it.

    • @Jen Robbie , I know, that what he said just before his father killed him: “Whats going on?” Bang!💥

    • @Dave Schultz TROLL

    • Singing Justice | July 4, 2020 at 1:56 PM | Reply

      @Dave Schultz those are russian bots coming after you. They are all over the place. Just block and report when necessary.

  8. Strange fruit is an amazing Classic by Billie Holiday , this song is like Mississippi Burning in a song, the lyrics represent the the facts back in those days, what is the “strange fruit” listen to the song and lyrics and where the inspiration came from…

  9. Brashawn Williams | July 4, 2020 at 12:35 AM | Reply

    This is so deep that’s ok YouTube we just go play the track the music cannot be silenced 💪🏾

  10. Robert Madden | July 4, 2020 at 12:41 AM | Reply

    Ari, thank you for your tireless efforts to get our country to LISTEN, as human beings, to our Black fellow Americans about what is happening to them.
    I grew up in Mississippi and was bused to a Black Jr High in 1970.

    There are defining situations and circumstances in my life that I look upon now with immense love, appreciation and gratitude.

    I remember my 6th, 7th and 8th grade years with laughter, amazement, respect, kinship, brotherhood, unity and grace. I was truly blessed to have had that experience and I have been standing with Black brothers and sisters ever since.

    I am so happy to see BLM emerge with some power behind it. It’s about f*cking time! My black friends have been pulled over, had their cars entirely stripped, even the door molding on the car taken off, seats removed from the car (their car would look like it was from a wrecking yard), stereo/sound systems removed completely…all left on the side of the road after the cops would not find anything to charge them with. My friends would call and ask if I could come get them. To see a car stripped that had been rolling down the road not even an hour before was shocking to me.

    I can’t respect someone , nor can I hold someone’s authority in credible esteem, when I witness outright harassment with lies and completely fabricated information.

    It infuriated me, then it disheartened me bc I was taught at home to respect the police and bc of my own eyes and ears and knowledge/truth, I couldn’t do that anymore.

  11. Holy crap. I had no idea about the circumstances of their deaths. These cops are just sadists. They are unrepentant & arrogant. & the hotel owner knowing he could get away with it. I’m so sick of this reign of terror & genocide that has been going on.

  12. Andrew L PickfordIII | July 4, 2020 at 12:42 AM | Reply

    Many Forget the previous years before the 1960’s and the killing of men who wear the badge of the law AS KKK members and the slave patrol created 1706 in S.Carolina who chased down and killed slaves with the authority of judges and law makers!

    • Andrew L PickfordIII | July 4, 2020 at 8:13 AM | Reply

      @Dave Schultz Yep, Biden said that! But trump is worse than that…. By far!

    • @Dave Schultz – Sounds like Trump with Jews.

      “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”

      “In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you’re being very disloyal to Israel”

      Pretty antisemitic.

    • Dave Schultz | July 4, 2020 at 8:28 AM | Reply

      @Andrew L PickfordIII , Yep. Biden has been great for blacks these past 48 years hes been in office: He authored the 94 crime bill, which he led to black mass incarceration. He praised his segregationist democrats he worked with in the 70s. He tried to block bussing, (like Kamala called him out on), because it was destroying “Our homogeneous culture”. But I guess the Democrats say Orange Man bad and you fall right in line. They got your vote real cheap..

    • Mask keep you from breathing Mask prevent air | July 4, 2020 at 12:40 PM | Reply

      And they were Democrat Party Slave owners created the party.
      Black Men created Republican Party

    • Andrew L PickfordIII | July 4, 2020 at 5:21 PM | Reply

      @Mask keep you from breathing Mask prevent air that’s right! But not now why? Why are slave States red? Is it because it’s their descendants having the same traits of hate. I really don’t care rep or Dem they are all white and I don’t trust them with power!

  13. machu pikachu | July 4, 2020 at 1:06 AM | Reply

    Black writers have also been telling us for a very long time!

    • 26 different qurans is 'perfect quran preservation' | July 4, 2020 at 9:15 AM | Reply

      Question: Is it true that democrats are KKKs?
      Democrats: No, you should NOT investigate who Margaret Sanger was!

    • @26 different qurans is ‘perfect quran preservation’ • cannot understand how you buy into that crap. Southern Democrats were Dixicrats well known racist who morphed into the Republican Party after the Democrats welcomed Blacks into the Party.

    • Dave Schultz | July 4, 2020 at 1:03 PM | Reply

      @THE PHANTOM , Lol… The old Switch-a-rooney fantasy Democrats try to sell. Never happened. How many Democrats switched from Democrat to Republican after they tried to stop the 1964 Civil Rights Act? ONE. The last serving KKK politician was Robert Byrd, DEMOCRAT, who only died in office 10 years ago. You’re real weak..

  14. Why on EARTH did MSNBC not purchase the right to actually play those songs? How cheap of you! Other than that – good video.

    • David S Cameron | July 4, 2020 at 12:58 PM | Reply

      Need you ask, they have a dedicated agenda which is clearly hitting us badly however it’s not like it’s value reaches to your idea of investment…

    • Not Your Average Trucker | July 4, 2020 at 9:11 PM | Reply

      Not how monetization works on YouTube…. can’t purchase music for use in your videos… the owner of the music would get 100% of the revenue generated by the msnbc video.

  15. Thank you Ari for framing this issue in the proper context. It truly has been “a long time coming but I no-oh-oh-oh…a change gone come.”

  16. Strange Fruit !
    Imagine the time of B. Holiday
    When lynching was considered almost a right by honerable Southern Gentleman who felt hanging black people was thier way of protecting thier Freedom !

  17. The uneasy truth… I was uncomfortably troubled to see that nothing has changed. The controlling powers still have us branded, shackled and muzzled. We must not tire from our fight to be emancipated.

  18. Ronald Smith | July 4, 2020 at 4:17 AM | Reply

    Don’t forget Marvin Gaye”S What’s going On.

    • Dave Schultz | July 4, 2020 at 8:31 AM | Reply

      I think he said “Whats going on?” Just before his black father murdered him ironically.

    • Ronald Smith what’s going on is a bunch of racists are burning our cities down, rioting and looting under the guise of some false “injustice “ argument. Make no mistake, it’s revenge plain and simple because of all the opportunities available , they still murder each other in huge numbers and blame others for their lack of of traditional family unit

  19. Chief Jay Binns | July 4, 2020 at 5:38 AM | Reply

    A major$ network like @MSNBC is reporting on Black American history while choosing not to purchase a friggin snippet of their song? 🤔

    • @Dave Schultz republicans aren’t good either or

    • @Mad Max 2.0 , You’re right. They get caught in the Virue Signaling trap also. We got 2 Republican Senators wanting to replace Columbus Day, with June-teenth Day. No one talked about this until some tragedy happens, its pathetic.

    • Mask keep you from breathing Mask prevent air | July 4, 2020 at 12:39 PM | Reply

      They are Democrat slave owners representative.
      Malcolm X said you vote Democrat slave party your a Traitor to Black People

    • Jessica Agnew | July 4, 2020 at 5:54 PM | Reply

      Mask keep you from breathing Mask prevent air listen in the presidential races you can’t op out . You have to make a choice. If you don’t vote you don’t have a choice. By heat I’m a independent so I vote for who is best for the country and just the white country.

    • Not Your Average Trucker | July 4, 2020 at 9:07 PM | Reply

      That’s not how monetization works on YouTube…. the owners of that music would get 100% of the revenue generated by the msnbc video… no “snippet” to purchase 👍🏾

  20. I am excited to see how you react when you realize that your government has murdered millions of innocent people just in Iraq for a war that is based on ruthless cold-blooded lies!

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