Posted by | Ray Cornelius
Check out Andra Day‘s soul-stirring rendition of Billie Holiday‘s classic jazz tune, “Strange Fruit.” The Grammy-nominated performer released the song and video on Friday (September 15) as part of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) “Lynching in America.” Day will also perform the song during her set at this year’s Global Citizen Festival in NYC on September 23.
The goal of “Lynching in America,” 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, including racially-biased capital punishment, excessive sentencing, disproportionate sentencing of racial minorities, and police abuse of people of color. The project has investigated more than 4,000 reported racial terror lynchings that took place in the United States during the period between Reconstruction and World War II. Google has also given more than $2MM in grants to the project as part of the company’s focus on inclusion.
Andra Day says, “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. 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.”
In the same spirit of music as activism, Andra will also appear on soundtrack for the upcoming film “Marshall” starring Chadwick Boseman as legendary Supreme Court Justice—Thurgood Marshall. She performs the title track, “Stand Up For Something.”
Tell us what you think of Andra’s version of “Strange Fruit” below: