Strange Fruit

A week ago, while talking to my Grandmother, she asked my opinion of the State vs. Zimmerman case. “I don’t think he’s going to get charged for 2nd Degree Murder, but I also don’t think he’s going to walk away without any charge.” I replied as I washed a plate. There was silence on the the line. “Well, chile, I guess y’all come from a dif’rent generation. That man ain’t getting charged. With nothing. Mark my words. That’s just the way the world works. I’m sorry to say it. But that’s just the way it is.”

My grandma’s no prophetess, but she has lived in this jacked up country for over eight decades. While I dismissed her all-knowing attitude to begin with, her words now haunt me. “That’s just the way the world works”. Just typing those words brings me to tears. There is so much emotion pent inside. So much. There is so much heaviness in my heart. I won’t say much else, because I just can’t process everything. Can’t write coherently. Here are a few things though:

  • This case has increased my love for my boy and all of the little brown boys who look like him, and my brothers and my cousins. I have a fierce love for my brothers, and I wish I could do something to protect them. Anything.
  • This case shows how America sees Black boys: easily discarded
  • I have to teach Malachi the Black Male Code

Here are some of great thoughts on the subject. One written by my thoughtful husband, one by my former colleague, and a song that has been on my heart all day.

On Grace and Compassion

Reflections on Being a Black Man


Southern trees bear a 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.


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