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Racial Lynchings
Posted by: Kylie (
Date: October 31, 2004 09:03PM

I was wondering if anyone has heard about any poems about racial lynchings in the South. I remember reading one that I really liked in which a white girl named Cindy kissed a black man and the black man was hung for it. Well if you see anything like this, your help would be appreciated.

Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (
Date: October 31, 2004 10:30PM

Here's a Billie Holliday song that might help

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.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

. (Abel Meeropol a songwriter, was the author of "Strange Fruit," a song about the lynching of blacks in the South later popularized by Billie Holliday .Abel and Anne Meeropol later adopted the two children of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg)

Post Edited (10-31-04 21:37)

Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: November 02, 2004 09:45PM

and another song-


The Lynching of Emmett Till-Bob Dylan

"Twas down in Mississippi no so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door.
This boy's dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.

Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin' him and to watch him slowly die.

And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.

Copyright 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: Kylie (
Date: November 07, 2004 11:01AM

Thank you for your help. I really like both of these poems.

Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: November 07, 2004 01:24PM

The Lynching

HIS Spirit in smoke ascended to high heaven.
His father, by the cruelest way of pain,
Had bidden him to his bosom once again;
The awful sin remained still unforgiven.
All night a bright and solitary star
(Perchance the one that ever guided him,
Yet gave him up at last to Fate's wild whim)
Hung pitifully o'er the swinging char.
Day dawned, and soon the mixed crowds came to view
The ghastly body swaying in the sun
The women thronged to look, but never a one
Showed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue;
And little lads, lynchers that were to be,
Danced round the dreadful thing in fiendish glee.

Claude McKay


Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: lg (
Date: November 07, 2004 02:13PM

Gary Bills:


There are trees too rooted in death; the yew
For one, gate guardian; old hanging tree
With seed of fleshy red around a pip
To finish any wren that takes a sip.

There, on that hill: too solemn by a grave,
The morning dew upon its mourning fronds,
An evergreen, a strength, intense and still
To outlast the devil. I think it will.


Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: November 08, 2004 10:48AM

Thank yew.

Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: November 08, 2004 03:54PM

Yes, thanks. Nice easy poem, doesn't taxus.


Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: Kylie (
Date: December 06, 2004 07:33PM

Thank you for all your help these will all really help. I am still looking for a specific poem about a girl who falls in love and kisses a black man. Then, the girl's father somehow catches them together and the girls dad and brother hang the black man. So if you see a poem like this please tell me.

Re: Racial Lynchings
Posted by: lg (
Date: December 06, 2004 08:12PM

Can't do it without exact words from the poem. You can hunt for yourself though, by using Google:

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