I’ve been following the news coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, with a lot of interest, grief, and shame. I really don’t know how to put my words together on the subject, at least this morning. But Monday mornings aren’t about words, are they? They’re about music, and sometimes music is the only place my words can find themselves. Given that we seem to have gone back to the 1960s as far as race relations go, that’s where my ear worm decided to go, as well (and even further back in one case).
I’ve been tweeting and retweeting a lot about the topic, though. This popped into my head last week.
Ok, I may just be a dumb white woman here, but these continual police shootings of Black people–modern-day legalized lynchings, right?—
M. Fenn (@MFennVT) August 10, 2014
Which made me go look for Billie Holiday‘s classic, “Strange Fruit.” I was pleased to find this live recording of Lady Day singing the tune. So damned chilling. Until the cop who killed Mike Brown is arrested and charged with murder, I wonder how much has changed.
And let’s also remember the other three Black men killed by police just this month: Eric Garner in New York, John Crawford in Ohio, and Ezell Ford in California.
And to finish up, here’s another Mayfield tune, sung with amazing force by Sophia Ramos and the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra in 2010. “This Is My Country.” Damned straight.
Anyway, posting these videos seems so useless and beside the point. But the point, to me, this morning, is that this dumb white woman stands with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, and everywhere else that has to deal with this kind of militarized racist bullshit. I hope you like the music.