Discussion:
Strange Fruit / Lewis Allan
(too old to reply)
Will Dockery
2011-08-11 23:15:13 UTC
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http://groups.google.com/g​roup/alt.arts.poetry.comme​nts/msg/5fa9c8b88c64ebfb?h​l=en

Yes, I went through a stretch of being strongly influenced by Holiday,
around the time of Lou Reed's "Berlin" (also featured homage to Lady
Day) & my Ma Rainey studies. This was before I met you, as with Eno,
so we may have never had time to touch on that. The thread above I
discuss much of that, as well as the original poem the song came from,
& other topics you're referring to, ie the local racism on both sides
of the river.

"Strange Fruit" was a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-
school
teacher from the Bronx, about the lynching of two black men. He published
under the pen name Lewis Allan.
"In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, possibly after
having seen Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas
Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in
The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol/Allan had often
asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set
"Strange Fruit" to music himself. The piece gained a certain success as a
protest song in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist
Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden. .
"Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body 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 magnolia 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
Yeah, Strange Fruit was on the first Billie Holiday album I bought, a
collection from Columbia obviously put out to cash in on the Diana
Ross film that was current, then... from that eerie clarinet at the
start, and Billie's halting & dramatic, spooky reading, added to the
fact that in 1975 where I was growing up, the events described were
still being repeated less than a decade before, and probably even
right then, if the details were known.
Virtual Shadow
2011-08-12 14:08:31 UTC
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"Will Dockery" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message news:14f0f03f-2a4e-4709-9983-***@s7g2000yqk.googlegroups.com...
http://groups.google.com/g​roup/alt.arts.poetry.comments/msg/5fa9c8b88c64ebfb?h​l=enYes, I went through a stretch of being strongly influenced by Holiday,
around the time of Lou Reed's "Berlin" (also featured homage to Lady
Day) & my Ma Rainey studies. This was before I met you, as with Eno,
so we may have never had time to touch on that. The thread above I
discuss much of that, as well as the original poem the song came from,
& other topics you're referring to, ie the local racism on both sides
of the river.

"Strange Fruit" was a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-
school
teacher from the Bronx, about the lynching of two black men. He published
under the pen name Lewis Allan.
"In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, possibly after
having seen Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas
Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in
The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol/Allan had often
asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set
"Strange Fruit" to music himself. The piece gained a certain success as a
protest song in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist
Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden. .
"Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body 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 magnolia 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
Yeah, Strange Fruit was on the first Billie Holiday album I bought, a
collection from Columbia obviously put out to cash in on the Diana
Ross film that was current, then... from that eerie clarinet at the
start, and Billie's halting & dramatic, spooky reading, added to the
fact that in 1975 where I was growing up, the events described were
still being repeated less than a decade before, and probably even
right then, if the details were known.


Truly, Lewis Allan was a strange fruit.
Will Dockery
2011-08-12 14:34:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Will Dockery
around the time of Lou Reed's "Berlin" (also featured homage to Lady
Day) & my Ma Rainey studies. This was before I met you, as with Eno,
so we may have never had time to touch on that. The thread above I
discuss much of that, as well as the original poem the song came from,
& other topics you're referring to, ie the local racism on both sides
of the river.
"Strange Fruit" was a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-
school
teacher from the Bronx, about the lynching of two black men. He published
under the pen name Lewis Allan.
"In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, possibly after
having seen Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas
Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in
The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol/Allan had often
asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set
"Strange Fruit" to music himself. The piece gained a certain success as a
protest song in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist
Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden. .
"Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body 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 magnolia 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
Yeah, Strange Fruit was on the first Billie Holiday album I bought, a
collection from Columbia obviously put out to cash in on the Diana
Ross film that was current, then... from that eerie clarinet at the
start, and Billie's halting & dramatic, spooky reading, added to the
fact that in 1975 where I was growing up, the events described were
still being repeated less than a decade before, and probably even
right then, if the details were known.
Truly, Lewis Allan was a strange fruit.
The start of this recent conversation began with the fact that the
famous biopic of Billie Holiday, "Lady Sings The Blues" had led
millions of people to believe that Holiday herself wrote "Strange
Fruit" after personally observing a lynching.

--
Shadowville Speedway & other songs:
http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery
Peter J Ross
2011-08-12 16:32:30 UTC
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Raw Message
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 07:08:31 -0700,
Virtual Shadow <***@longshank.org> wrote:

<snip>

This is not a chat room for Will Dreckery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
David George
2011-08-14 02:38:46 UTC
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Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 07:08:31 -0700,
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dreckery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?


[Jus' kidding...]


Plus le change....
Will Dockery
2011-08-14 15:42:18 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 07:08:31 -0700,
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dreckery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?


[Jus' kidding...]


Plus le change....

/// Seems a bit harsh...
--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile". Making a
video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -
http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto ) with Michael Lindberg in Sweden:

http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
David George
2011-08-17 08:46:41 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 07:08:31 -0700,
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dreckery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
/// Seems a bit harsh...
speaking metphorically, of course...
Will Dockery
2011-08-17 15:07:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dockery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
/// Seems a bit harsh...
speaking metphorically, of course...
And with a dose of ironic historic Americana...

--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile".
Making a
video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -
http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto ) with Michael Lindberg in
Sweden:
http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
David George
2011-08-23 04:03:22 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dockery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
/// Seems a bit harsh...
speaking metphorically, of course...
And with a dose of ironic historic Americana...
--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile". Making a
video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto) with Michael Lindberg in
Sweden:http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
it interested me lots... after a first visit to the USA this year...

the images and nuances of the deep south
received over here in New Zealand.

Bin listening to Leadbelly a whole lot...

in my 20's I worked on a railway gang, pulling track...

kinda got pulled into the fusion, the remorphs of dreams
and Ryhthms

and since i picked fruit for 17 years 'Strange Fruit'
has a resonance for me.

Fancied my self as 'Kaki Whero' which means 'white nigger',
in a nice kind of way...


"long Tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo...."

in Nz these were our tools:

the 'long tom' was a thing like a saw
what was used to place measured amounts of gravel
under the railway sleepers

the 'jim crow' was a big iron thing used for bending rails

the 'banjo' was our slang for shovel.
Will Dockery
2011-08-25 23:14:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by Will Dockery
And with a dose of ironic historic Americana...
--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile". Making a
video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto) with Michael Lindberg in
http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
Post by David George
it interested me lots... after a first visit to the USA this year...
the images and nuances of the deep south
received over here in New Zealand.
Bin listening to Leadbelly a whole lot...
in my 20's I worked on a railway gang, pulling track...
kinda got pulled into the fusion, the remorphs of dreams
and Ryhthms
and since i picked fruit for 17 years 'Strange Fruit'
has a resonance for me.
Fancied my self as 'Kaki Whero' which means 'white nigger',
in a nice kind of way...
"long Tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo...."
the 'long tom' was a thing like a saw
what was used to place measured amounts of gravel
under the railway sleepers
the 'jim crow' was a big iron thing used for bending rails
the 'banjo' was our slang for shovel.
Fascinating cross-cultural references.

Didn't you post a poem about this a number of years ago?

--
Shadowville Speedway & other songs:
http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery
Will Dockery
2011-08-25 23:12:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dockery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
/// Seems a bit harsh...
speaking metphorically, of course...
And with a dose of ironic historic Americana...
--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile". Making a
video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto) with Michael Lindberg in
Sweden:http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
it interested me lots... after a first visit to the USA this year...
the images and nuances of the deep south
received over here in New Zealand.
Bin listening to Leadbelly a whole lot...
in my 20's I worked on a railway gang, pulling track...
kinda got pulled into the fusion, the remorphs of dreams
and Ryhthms
and since i picked fruit for 17 years 'Strange Fruit'
has a resonance for me.
Fancied my self as 'Kaki Whero' which means 'white nigger',
in a nice kind of way...
"long Tom and jim crow,
 strumming on the old banjo...."
the 'long tom' was a thing like a saw
what was used to place measured amounts of gravel
under the railway sleepers
the 'jim crow' was a big iron thing used for bending rails
the 'banjo' was our slang for shovel.
Fascinating cross-cultural references.

Didn't you post a poem about this a number of years ago?

--
Shadowville Speedway & other songs:
http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery
David George
2011-08-26 07:21:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dockery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
/// Seems a bit harsh...
speaking metphorically, of course...
And with a dose of ironic historic Americana...
--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile". Making a
video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto) with Michael Lindberg in
Sweden:http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
it interested me lots... after a first visit to the USA this year...
the images and nuances of the deep south
received over here in New Zealand.
Bin listening to Leadbelly a whole lot...
in my 20's I worked on a railway gang, pulling track...
kinda got pulled into the fusion, the remorphs of dreams
and Ryhthms
and since i picked fruit for 17 years 'Strange Fruit'
has a resonance for me.
Fancied my self as 'Kaki Whero' which means 'white nigger',
in a nice kind of way...
"long Tom and jim crow,
 strumming on the old banjo...."
the 'long tom' was a thing like a saw
what was used to place measured amounts of gravel
under the railway sleepers
the 'jim crow' was a big iron thing used for bending rails
the 'banjo' was our slang for shovel.
Fascinating cross-cultural references.
Didn't you post a poem about this a number of years ago?
--
Shadowville Speedway & other songs:http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery
You wemembered!!! Oh Will!

[jus' kidding...]


In my formative years I got an intro to the
doyen of Jewish Culture in the big city
of Dunedin- Charles Brasch... after that
they stuck a couple of my poems in a national
weekly...

...not much of a career splurge...

now in the interest of flagrant self- promotion...

that none of us are any stranger to

I will repeat that work you mentioned...

thanks Will.
Peter J Ross
2011-08-26 18:58:12 UTC
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Raw Message
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:21:56 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
my formative years
Let us know when they start.
--
PJR :-)
David George
2011-08-26 21:37:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:21:56 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
my formative years
Let us know when they start.
--
PJR :-)
PJ, PJ, give me your answer do
I'm so crazy oh to read with you-

it won't be a stylish venue
but the work will be fresh and genu

and you'll look neat upon the seat
as the bowl quickly fills with ... .
Peter J Ross
2011-08-26 21:41:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:37:52 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:21:56 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
my formative years
Let us know when they start.
--
PJR :-)
PJ, PJ, give me your answer do
I'm so crazy oh to read with you-
it won't be a stylish venue
but the work will be fresh and genu
and you'll look neat upon the seat
as the bowl quickly fills with ... .
It doesn't even fit the tune properly.

Please try harder to look less like a total twat.
--
PJR :-)
that9one1matt1dude
2011-08-27 02:20:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:37:52 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:21:56 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
my formative years
Let us know when they start.
--
PJR :-)
PJ, PJ, give me your answer do
I'm so crazy oh to read with you-
it won't be a stylish venue
but the work will be fresh and genu
and you'll look neat upon the seat
as the bowl quickly fills with ...   .
It doesn't even fit the tune properly.
Please try harder to look less like a total twat.
--
PJR :-)
COWARD TEA SIPPING SON OF A BITCH!


Look, coward...I'm putting you in yer place, and you've got no answer.

You're a faggot asshole!

Let me guess..no answer... and u wanna call this yer newsgroup.

COWARD!!
David George
2011-08-27 05:33:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:37:52 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:21:56 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
my formative years
Let us know when they start.
--
PJR :-)
PJ, PJ, give me your answer do
I'm so crazy oh to read with you-
it won't be a stylish venue
but the work will be fresh and genu
and you'll look neat upon the seat
as the bowl quickly fills with ...   .
It doesn't even fit the tune properly.
Please try harder to look less like a total twat.
--
PJR :-)
Oh Pete! I didn't know you cared?
Will Dockery
2011-09-02 18:20:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 26 Aug 2011 00:21:56 -0700 (PDT),
Post by David George
my formative years
Let us know when they start.
--
PJR :-)
PJ, PJ, give me your answer do
I'm so crazy oh to read with you-
it won't be a stylish venue
but the work will be fresh and genu
and you'll look neat upon the seat
as the bowl quickly fills with ...   .
David George, gotta run for a while put wanted to add this before I
go, while I have it on copy-paste mode:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.dylan/msg/b3d95326d4cfcb5a?hl=en
Again, I'll point out that it goes deeper than "White vs. Black" on
racism, but really racism was manufatured, a fakery, created by the
rich plantation owners of the South in the years just before the Civil
War, to keep poor whites & black slaves from forming a possible, &
natural, solidarity. While racism thrived afterwards, the whole issue
is a matter of the hate being a /manipulation/ of the rich
intellectuals against the naive poor people. This book, "Rich Man's
War", makes it all very clear, from somewhat censored historical
facts: "Rich Man's War:
Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower
Chattahoochee Valley
By David Williams
Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1998. $34.95

Reviewed by Thandeka

The importance of David Williams's new book, Rich
Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the
Lower Chattahoochee Valley, cannot be overestimated.

[...]

Williams accomplishes this stunning feat by studying
the socioeconomic factors in the South that led first
to the Civil War and then to the defeat of the
Confederacy, focusing primarily on the thriving
industrial center of Columbus, Georgia, and its
surrounding area, which by 1860 was producing almost a
quarter million cotton bales annually. During the
war, this area became a center for war-related
industries because it was deep in the southern
heartland, far from major theaters of combat; had rail
connections to every major city in the South; and was
at the head of navigation on the Chattahoochee River.
Williams, who grew up in the area, uses photographs
and family history in the book, as well as archival
material. The result is a vivid depiction of the life
and times of a people who called the Civil War "a rich
man's war and a poor man's fight."

Williams begins by retelling how the southern planter
class created the white race for purposes of class
exploitation. Until then in Colonial America,
people's race was defined by their class, and there
was no distinction in law or custom between European
and African servants, all of whom were known as
"slaves." Not surprisingly, these bondservants lived,
loved, worked, and rebelled against their upper-class
oppressors together.

[...]

But under the planters' new race laws, race was
defined by genealogy. Masters and servants who could
claim that all their ancestors came from Europe became
members of the white race. In truth, of course, the
"poor whites" continued to be viewed as an alien race
by the elite. As one Georgia planter wrote a friend,
"Not one in ten [poor whites] is. . . . a whit
superior to a negro." Privately called "white trash"
by the elite, the poor whites were publicly embraced
as racial kin by the planters, 3.7 percent of the
population who owned 58 percent of the region's slaves
and were dead set on keeping their exploited workers
divided by racial contempt. Because the antebellum
South's pervasive class exploitation depended on
fabricated white racial pride, any challenge to racial
solidarity among whites threatened to reveal the
hidden class system. Here lay the path to revolution.

Thus it's not surprising that writer Hinton Rowan
Helper's 1857 book The Impending Crisis of the South,
which exposed the race-class link, was publicly
burned; a Methodist minister spent a year in jail for
simply owning it; and three Southerners were hanged
for reading it. Here is some of what Helper said:
"The lords of the lash are not only absolute masters
of the blacks. . . . but they are also the oracles and
arbiters of all nonslaveholding whites, whose freedom
is merely nominal, and whose unparalleled illiteracy
and degradation is purposely and fiendishly
perpetuated." According to Williams, this work sold
more copies than any other nonfiction book of the era
and was called by one historian "the most important
single book, in terms of its political impact, that
has ever been published in the United States."

[...]

Having set the scene, Williams gives his account of
how most poorer southern whites dealt with the "rich
man's war." He begins this section of the book by
reminding us that Georgia's very decision to secede
from the Union was never put to a popular vote.
Rather, it was made by secession delegates, 87 percent
of them slaveholders in a state where only 37 percent
of the electorate owned slaves. These delegates knew
better than to heed antisecessionist delegates' plea
to submit the decision to the electorate for final
determination. After all, more than half the South's
white population, three-quarters of whom owned no
slaves, opposed secession.

Next Williams details the Confed-eracy's corrupt
impressment system. Georgia was one of the first
Confederate states to legislate the right to
confiscate, or impress, private property for the war.
Not surprisingly, corruption ran rampant among
impressment officers, of whom one Georgian said, "They
devastate the country as much as the enemy." Another
Georgian predicted that the widespread corruption
would "ultimately alienate the affections of the
people from the government." It did.

[...]

To add insult to injury, planters continued growing
cotton (rather than food) and traded with the North as
poorer whites and the army faced starvation. Williams
also tells us that all too often, funds that should
have been distributed to indigent families wound up in
the pockets of corrupt officials. Not surprisingly,
by 1863, food riots were breaking out all over the
South, led by the starving wives left behind as their
starving husbands, sons, and fathers died for the rich
men and their slaves.

And always, the racial degradation of the poor white
continued. As Williams reminds us, most of the South's
higher-ranking officers came from the slaveholding
class and treated those under their command like
slaves. One soldier thus complained in a letter home,
"A soldier is worse than any negro on [the]
Chattahoochee river. He has no privileges whatever.
He is under worse task-masters than any negro."
Soldiers were also punished like slaves, says
Williams: "whipped, tied up by the thumbs, bucked and
gagged, branded, or even shot."

[...]

Thus did the desertions begin. By September 1864, two
thirds of Confederate soldiers were absent without
leave. One hundred thousand went over to serve in the
Union armies. Thousands more formed anti-Confederate
guerrilla bands, of which one historian wrote that
they were "no longer committed to the Confederacy, not
quite committed to the Union that supplied them arms
and supplies, but fully committed to survival." These
bands, Williams tells us, "raided plantations,
attacked army supply depots, and drove off impressment
and conscription officers. . . . One Confederate
loyalist, a veteran of the Virginia campaigns, said he
felt more uneasy at home than he ever did when he
followed Stonewall Jackson against the Yankees."

Meanwhile, Williams writes, "One prominent antiwar
resident of Barbour County held a dinner honoring
fifty-seven local deserters. Though a subpoena was
issued against the host, the sheriff refused to
deliver it." The draft was by now difficult to
enforce, nor did disgrace attach to either desertion
or evasion. Indeed, Williams concludes that the
Confederacy would have collapsed from within if there
hadn't been a Union victory.

[...]

...the bands of poorer Southern whites who organized
against the Confederacy and who indeed were abused and
exploited by their overlords, first as wage-slaves and
then as canon fodder. Sadly, these Confederate
deserters never understood that not even the one thing
they held onto as their own—their self-image as
whites—actually belonged to them. Rather it was one
among many means used by rich men to exploit them.

The Rev. Thandeka is associate professor of theology
and culture at Meadville/Lombard Theological School.
David George
2011-09-02 20:48:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sep 3, 6:20 am, Will Dockery <***@gmail.com> wrote:


Yes.

Interested in the cultural filters that brings
rhythms, Rhymes, ideas around the world.

And the rapid networks the spread jokes
round the world and back again...

that inform thoughts on race, sex etc.

This march took part in a poetry slam
at Black jacks in New orleans...

wanted to sense how a whiteboy poem
from faraway New Zealand would be received-

it was warmly received, I think because
it was a 'visitor' thing- the coming of newcomers

kinda sheds light.



-D.
Will Dockery
2011-09-12 20:32:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Yes.
Interested in the cultural filters that brings
rhythms, Rhymes, ideas around the world.
And the rapid networks the spread jokes
round the world and back again...
that inform thoughts on race, sex etc.
This march took part in a poetry slam
at Black jacks in New orleans...
wanted to sense how a whiteboy poem
from faraway New Zealand would be received-
it was warmly received, I think because
it was a 'visitor' thing- the coming of newcomers
kinda sheds light.
-D.
I didn't realize you were so close to my neck of the woods lately,
David!

--
Shark Pact Manifesto:

Will Dockery
2011-09-20 18:24:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
it won't be a stylish venue
but the work will be fresh and genu
and you'll look neat upon the seat
as the bowl quickly fills with ...   .
David George, gotta run for a while put wanted to add this before I
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.dylan/msg/b3d95326d4cfcb5a?h...
Again, I'll point out that it goes deeper than "White vs. Black" on
racism, but really racism was manufatured, a fakery, created by the
rich plantation owners of the South in the years just before the Civil
War, to keep poor whites & black slaves from forming a possible, &
natural, solidarity. While racism thrived afterwards, the whole issue
is a matter of the hate being a /manipulation/ of the rich
intellectuals against the naive poor people. This book, "Rich Man's
War", makes it all very clear, from somewhat censored historical
Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the Lower
Chattahoochee Valley
By David Williams
Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1998. $34.95
Reviewed by Thandeka
The importance of David Williams's new book, Rich
Man's War: Class, Caste, and Confederate Defeat in the
Lower Chattahoochee Valley, cannot be overestimated.
[...]
Williams accomplishes this stunning feat by studying
the socioeconomic factors in the South that led first
to the Civil War and then to the defeat of the
Confederacy, focusing primarily on the thriving
industrial center of Columbus, Georgia, and its
surrounding area, which by 1860 was producing almost a
quarter million cotton bales annually. During the
war, this area became a center for war-related
industries because it was deep in the southern
heartland, far from major theaters of combat; had rail
connections to every major city in the South; and was
at the head of navigation on the Chattahoochee River.
Williams, who grew up in the area, uses photographs
and family history in the book, as well as archival
material. The result is a vivid depiction of the life
and times of a people who called the Civil War "a rich
man's war and a poor man's fight."
Williams begins by retelling how the southern planter
class created the white race for purposes of class
exploitation. Until then in Colonial America,
people's race was defined by their class, and there
was no distinction in law or custom between European
and African servants, all of whom were known as
"slaves." Not surprisingly, these bondservants lived,
loved, worked, and rebelled against their upper-class
oppressors together.
[...]
But under the planters' new race laws, race was
defined by genealogy. Masters and servants who could
claim that all their ancestors came from Europe became
members of the white race. In truth, of course, the
"poor whites" continued to be viewed as an alien race
by the elite. As one Georgia planter wrote a friend,
"Not one in ten [poor whites] is. . . . a whit
superior to a negro." Privately called "white trash"
by the elite, the poor whites were publicly embraced
as racial kin by the planters, 3.7 percent of the
population who owned 58 percent of the region's slaves
and were dead set on keeping their exploited workers
divided by racial contempt. Because the antebellum
South's pervasive class exploitation depended on
fabricated white racial pride, any challenge to racial
solidarity among whites threatened to reveal the
hidden class system. Here lay the path to revolution.
Thus it's not surprising that writer Hinton Rowan
Helper's 1857 book The Impending Crisis of the South,
which exposed the race-class link, was publicly
burned; a Methodist minister spent a year in jail for
simply owning it; and three Southerners were hanged
"The lords of the lash are not only absolute masters
of the blacks. . . . but they are also the oracles and
arbiters of all nonslaveholding whites, whose freedom
is merely nominal, and whose unparalleled illiteracy
and degradation is purposely and fiendishly
perpetuated." According to Williams, this work sold
more copies than any other nonfiction book of the era
and was called by one historian "the most important
single book, in terms of its political impact, that
has ever been published in the United States."
[...]
Having set the scene, Williams gives his account of
how most poorer southern whites dealt with the "rich
man's war." He begins this section of the book by
reminding us that Georgia's very decision to secede
from the Union was never put to a popular vote.
Rather, it was made by secession delegates, 87 percent
of them slaveholders in a state where only 37 percent
of the electorate owned slaves. These delegates knew
better than to heed antisecessionist delegates' plea
to submit the decision to the electorate for final
determination. After all, more than half the South's
white population, three-quarters of whom owned no
slaves, opposed secession.
Next Williams details the Confed-eracy's corrupt
impressment system. Georgia was one of the first
Confederate states to legislate the right to
confiscate, or impress, private property for the war.
Not surprisingly, corruption ran rampant among
impressment officers, of whom one Georgian said, "They
devastate the country as much as the enemy." Another
Georgian predicted that the widespread corruption
would "ultimately alienate the affections of the
people from the government." It did.
[...]
To add insult to injury, planters continued growing
cotton (rather than food) and traded with the North as
poorer whites and the army faced starvation. Williams
also tells us that all too often, funds that should
have been distributed to indigent families wound up in
the pockets of corrupt officials. Not surprisingly,
by 1863, food riots were breaking out all over the
South, led by the starving wives left behind as their
starving husbands, sons, and fathers died for the rich
men and their slaves.
And always, the racial degradation of the poor white
continued. As Williams reminds us, most of the South's
higher-ranking officers came from the slaveholding
class and treated those under their command like
slaves. One soldier thus complained in a letter home,
"A soldier is worse than any negro on [the]
Chattahoochee river. He has no privileges whatever.
He is under worse task-masters than any negro."
Soldiers were also punished like slaves, says
Williams: "whipped, tied up by the thumbs, bucked and
gagged, branded, or even shot."
[...]
Thus did the desertions begin. By September 1864, two
thirds of Confederate soldiers were absent without
leave. One hundred thousand went over to serve in the
Union armies. Thousands more formed anti-Confederate
guerrilla bands, of which one historian wrote that
they were "no longer committed to the Confederacy, not
quite committed to the Union that supplied them arms
and supplies, but fully committed to survival." These
bands, Williams tells us, "raided plantations,
attacked army supply depots, and drove off impressment
and conscription officers. . . . One Confederate
loyalist, a veteran of the Virginia campaigns, said he
felt more uneasy at home than he ever did when he
followed Stonewall Jackson against the Yankees."
Meanwhile, Williams writes, "One prominent antiwar
resident of Barbour County held a dinner honoring
fifty-seven local deserters. Though a subpoena was
issued against the host, the sheriff refused to
deliver it." The draft was by now difficult to
enforce, nor did disgrace attach to either desertion
or evasion. Indeed, Williams concludes that the
Confederacy would have collapsed from within if there
hadn't been a Union victory.
[...]
...the bands of poorer Southern whites who organized
against the Confederacy and who indeed were abused and
exploited by their overlords, first as wage-slaves and
then as canon fodder. Sadly, these Confederate
deserters never understood that not even the one thing
they held onto as their own—their self-image as
whites—actually belonged to them. Rather it was one
among many means used by rich men to exploit them.
The Rev. Thandeka is associate professor of theology
and culture at Meadville/Lombard Theological School.
This relates in so many ways, worth a repost.

--
Shark Pact Manifesto / Will Dockery & Shadowville All-Stars:
http://youtu.be/Ft3X3kC6nr4

Will Dockery
2011-09-20 17:52:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
Post by Will Dockery
Post by David George
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
<snip>
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
/// Seems a bit harsh...
speaking metphorically, of course...
And with a dose of ironic historic Americana...
it interested me lots... after a first visit to the USA this year...
the images and nuances of the deep south
received over here in New Zealand.
Bin listening to Leadbelly a whole lot...
in my 20's I worked on a railway gang, pulling track...
kinda got pulled into the fusion, the remorphs of dreams
and Ryhthms
and since i picked fruit for 17 years 'Strange Fruit'
has a resonance for me.
Fancied my self as 'Kaki Whero' which means 'white nigger',
in a nice kind of way...
"long Tom and jim crow,
 strumming on the old banjo...."
the 'long tom' was a thing like a saw
what was used to place measured amounts of gravel
under the railway sleepers
the 'jim crow' was a big iron thing used for bending rails
the 'banjo' was our slang for shovel.
Fascinating cross-cultural references.
Didn't you post a poem about this a number of years ago?
--
Shadowville Speedway & other songs:http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery
You wemembered!!! Oh Will!
[jus' kidding...]
In my formative years I got an intro to the
doyen of Jewish Culture in the big city
of Dunedin- Charles Brasch... after that
they stuck a couple of my poems in a national
weekly...
        ...not much of a career splurge...
now in the interest of flagrant self- promotion...
that none of us are any stranger to
I will repeat that work you mentioned...
thanks Will.
Thank you!

Just catching up here, remembering it as a good read...

--
Shark Pact Manifesto / Will Dockery & Shadowville All-Stars:
http://youtu.be/Ft3X3kC6nr4
David George
2011-08-26 07:26:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
EUCHRE WEATHER

"Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
Will rush as hushed or when they were a thought..."
-Robert Frost, 'The Line Gang.


Not for me the noisy proline
but the quiet of the auger and fangspanner-

long tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo.

Sitting in frost, an island of warmth,
the billy boy warming his hands-

long tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo.

The track gang wakes to a band of iron
walks sleeper by sleeper to dawn-

long tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo.

Sea warms sun warms, rains
soften the hills and drown the sweat-

long tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo.

We sit in the bus. No song, sport
or curse will still the shower-

long tom and jim crow,
strumming on the old banjo.

Train passed we put on the jigger,
wheels spinning on the greasy track-

going up with Jimmy
to have lunch at Omimi
and we're going to Puketeraki
in the morning.

D A V I D G E O R G E

euchre- a workman's card game
billy boy- tea boy
jigger- moterised maintenance trolley
long tom- long blade used for placing measured amounts of gravel
under railway sleepers
jim crow- large horse-shoe shaped tool, with screw and crowbar used
for bending rails
banjo- shovel
George Dance
2011-08-27 10:02:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
 EUCHRE WEATHER
"Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
 Will rush as hushed or when they were a thought..."
                                -Robert Frost, 'The Line Gang.
Not for me the noisy proline
but the quiet of the auger and fangspanner-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
Sitting in frost, an island of warmth,
the billy boy warming his hands-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
The track gang wakes to a band of iron
walks sleeper by sleeper to dawn-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
Sea warms sun warms, rains
soften the hills and drown the sweat-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
We sit in the bus. No song, sport
or curse will still the shower-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
Train passed we put on the jigger,
wheels spinning on the greasy track-
        going up with Jimmy
        to have lunch at Omimi
        and we're going to Puketeraki
        in the morning.
D    A    V    I    D      G    E    O    R    G    E
euchre- a workman's card game
billy boy- tea boy
jigger- moterised maintenance trolley
long tom- long blade used for placing measured amounts of gravel
                under railway sleepers
jim crow- large horse-shoe shaped tool, with screw and crowbar used
                for bending rails
banjo- shovel
David! It's good to see you on aapc again, even if it's only (1) a
crosspost of (2) a reprint.

I've gone back and forth on the idea of including notes on some of my
poems. It's definitely a good idea here.
David George
2011-08-27 19:16:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by George Dance
 EUCHRE WEATHER
"Wherein words whether beaten out or spoken
 Will rush as hushed or when they were a thought..."
                                -Robert Frost, 'The Line Gang.
Not for me the noisy proline
but the quiet of the auger and fangspanner-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
Sitting in frost, an island of warmth,
the billy boy warming his hands-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
The track gang wakes to a band of iron
walks sleeper by sleeper to dawn-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
Sea warms sun warms, rains
soften the hills and drown the sweat-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
We sit in the bus. No song, sport
or curse will still the shower-
        long tom and jim crow,
        strumming on the old banjo.
Train passed we put on the jigger,
wheels spinning on the greasy track-
        going up with Jimmy
        to have lunch at Omimi
        and we're going to Puketeraki
        in the morning.
D    A    V    I    D      G    E    O    R    G    E
euchre- a workman's card game
billy boy- tea boy
jigger- moterised maintenance trolley
long tom- long blade used for placing measured amounts of gravel
                under railway sleepers
jim crow- large horse-shoe shaped tool, with screw and crowbar used
                for bending rails
banjo- shovel
David! It's good to see you on aapc again, even if it's only (1) a
crosspost of (2) a reprint.
I've gone back and forth on the idea of including notes on some of my
poems. It's definitely a good idea here.
About 1920 the coming of the Phonograph made music a kind of
universal
language. As a kid we sang Stephen Foster and black n white minstrel
stuff.

The generation behind me kinda sang cowboy stuff- 'home home on the
range.'

Poetry is all kinda stuff.

For me poetry is what makes words sing...

playing the same number twice, it aint no sin...

poetry needs a voice, it needs a stage...

but most of it all needs a listener, a reader...
Will Dockery
2011-08-14 15:17:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David George
Post by Peter J Ross
<snip>
This is not a chat room for Will Dockery and his fellow drunken pizza
delivery boys. Kindly fuck off back to whichever net.hole you emerged
from.
--
PJR :-)
Tar and feather this gentleman, why don't you?
[Jus' kidding...]
Plus le change....
Sounds a bit harsh...

--
"Railroad Muses" (rough draft linked here) & "Swamp Street Exile".
Making a video for the first single ("Shark Pact Manifesto" -
http://tinyurl.com/Shark-Pact-Manifesto ) with Michael Lindberg in
Sweden:

http://www.archive.org/details/RailroadMusesisleOfBricktan
Will Dockery
2011-08-12 16:40:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter J Ross
In alt.arts.poetry.comments on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 07:08:31 -0700,
<snip>
This is not a chat room
We know what this poetry newsgroup is, PJR, but thanks for sharing your
whines with us anyhow.

<unsnip>

I've looked at some legnth, & it does look
like the famous biopic of Billie Holiday, "Lady Sings The Blues"
released in 1973, had led millions of people to believe that Holiday
herself wrote "Strange Fruit" after personally observing a lynching.
While this clip doesn't show her seeing the hanged man, the clip takes
up immediately following that, with Diana Ross as Billie Holiday
singing "Strange Fruit", the poem written by Abel Meeropol.

http://groups.google.com/g​roup/alt.arts.poetry.comments/msg/5fa9c8b88c64ebfb?h​l=en>
Post by Peter J Ross
Yes, I went through a stretch of being strongly influenced by Holiday,
around the time of Lou Reed's "Berlin" (also featured homage to Lady
Day) & my Ma Rainey studies. This was before I met you, as with Eno,
so we may have never had time to touch on that. The thread above I
discuss much of that, as well as the original poem the song came from,
& other topics you're referring to, ie the local racism on both sides
of the river.
"Strange Fruit" was a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-
school
teacher from the Bronx, about the lynching of two black men. He published
under the pen name Lewis Allan.
"In the poem, Meeropol expressed his horror at lynchings, possibly after
having seen Lawrence Beitler's photograph of the 1930 lynching of Thomas
Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. He published the poem in 1936 in
The New York Teacher, a union magazine. Though Meeropol/Allan had often
asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music, he set
"Strange Fruit" to music himself. The piece gained a certain success as a
protest song in and around New York. Meeropol, his wife, and black vocalist
Laura Duncan performed it at Madison Square Garden. .
"Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body 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 magnolia 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
Yeah, Strange Fruit was on the first Billie Holiday album I bought, a
collection from Columbia obviously put out to cash in on the Diana
Ross film that was current, then... from that eerie clarinet at the
start, and Billie's halting & dramatic, spooky reading, added to the
fact that in 1975 where I was growing up, the events described were
still being repeated less than a decade before, and probably even
right then, if the details were known.
--
Shadowville Speedway & other songs:
http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery
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