Rima Aanjay – Free Speech

When Billie Holiday performed Strange Fruit, a song meant to shed light on the horrible reality of lynching, she was hunted until her death by those who suggested that the song incited violence. That was the excuse used to prevent her from singing a song that did not convey a message of violence but expressed concerned about the lynching of blacks throughout the country. According to the NAACP, 4,743 were lynched in the United States from 1882-1968 and 72.7% of those people were black.

We live in a world where inciting acts of violence through free speech continues to cost the lives of many people throughout the world. It’s sad that the incitement is most visible within those in a position of power. This poem was written to express concern about the current political climate. It was not written to incite any type of violence.

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