In 1939 Billie Holiday introduced Strange Fruit on a nightclub stage in Harlem - the song would ultimately define her. The early civil rights song had originally been written in 1930 as a poem by a Jewish teacher and activist from the Bronx - Abel Meeropol. The painful poem told the story of southern lynchings. After having been published, he composed the poem into a song and passed it on to a nightclub owner, and then it was passed on to a 23-year old Billie Holiday. She immediately connected with the song, which reminded her of her father and how he died after being refused treatment at a hospital because he was black. At the time, the controversial song was applauded by some, and it infuriated others. When the racist commissioner of the Federal Beauru of Narcotics - Harry Anslinger - demanded that she stop performing the song, she refused. Because of this, the Beauru targeted her on a personal vendetta to ruin her. After the Bureau framed her in a herion bust, Holiday was sent to prison for a year and a half. When she was released in 1948, the feds stripped her of her cabaret license to further punish her. In 1959, a decade later, while Billie Holiday was near death in a hospital bed with liver and heart disease, a unrelenting Anslinger had his agents handcuff her to her hospital bed. Federal agents prevented doctors from giving her the care she needed, and she soon died. In it's December 31 1999 issue, Time Magazine declared Strange Fruit "The Song Of The Century."
"If you like to lounge