Andra Day Covers Strange Fruit For The Equal Justice Initiative

Andra Day has covered “Strange Fruit” for the Equal Justice Initiative with support from Google. Billie Holiday made “Strange Fruit” famous when she recorded it in 1939. The recording is available on the Lynching In America site and Andra Day’s Youtube channel. She will perform the song at the Global Citizen’s Festival in New York on September 23rd.

Lynching In America seeks to start a national conversation about the connections between racial violence of the past and contemporary racial inequalities like police brutality and disproportionate sentencing. Google has given more than two million dollars in grants to the Equal Justice Initiative as part of their focus on inclusion. Their volunteers are digitizing the Lynching In America research that investigated the more than 4,000 reported lynchings that took place between Reconstruction and World War II.

Andra Day premiered her cover of “Strange Fruit” on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah three weeks ago. Bryan Stevenson, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative joined Andra Day on the show for a segment about white supremacy. Stevenson says,

“In this collaboration between Andra Day, EJI, and Google, we use music to express a painful and difficult truth about our nation’s history of racial inequality. Inspired music has the power to expose and confront injustice differently than research, data and words alone. ┬áIt can heal and uplift us, it’s critical for human rights. Justice work needs a soundtrack that inspires the struggle, it’s energizing that talented artists like Andra rise to the challenge.”