tanya byrne

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75 years ago, on this date, Billie Holiday recorded a song that Time Magazine would call song of the century: Strange Fruit, a song written about a lynching in the South. 

Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.

(Source: satindolls)

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Postage stamp from the former British Guiana (present-day Guyana) showing a map of South America as well as a portrait of King George VI (ca. 1940). The country gained independence in 1966 and became a republic four years later.

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“ I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. ”

—    Mahatma Gandhi (via observando)
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“ Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself. ”

—    George Bernard Shaw (via observando)
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