Our Georgia History
 

Lillian Smith
December 12, 1897 Lillian Smith born, Jasper, Florida
  Lillian Smith
September 28, 1966 Lillian Smith dies, Atlanta, Georgia
  Lillian Smith


When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die.

From her home on Screamer Mountain in Rabun County, Georgia, Lillian Smith wrote Strange Fruit a 1944 work that was an epiphany in the Civil Rights movement across the United States. The novel vividly describes the relationship of a white World War II veteran (Tracy Deen) and black woman (Nonnie Anderson) in the fictional town of Maxwell, Georgia. The title comes from the earlier Billy Holiday song about lynching that became a popular Civil Rights anthem in 1939.

Banned in Boston (MA) and Detroit (MI), the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man who "...owned and intended to sell..." the book. Being banned helped it to pass the 3 million mark in sales.





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