Strange Fruit? Strange Cover?.....Is OffBeat magazine truly off base with this one?


You know every so often I have to drop in a blog like this to see what you think and to see if it's really a big deal.

Or if its just another case of "majoring in minor things" moment.

Well this one comes courtesy of the OffBeat Magazine. Their latest cover has received some backlash from the public because of the use of the headline Strange Fruit alongside a white band hanging from bars.

Ok, before I go any further, what comes to mind when you hear the words 'Strange Fruit' and 'hanging' in the same sentence? Uhmm, maybe Billie Holiday? Lynching? Slavery? Or maybe you don't think of anything.

Well the reason I am laughing out loud as I write this blog is because I just finished reading the apology posted by the OffBeat staff on their website. One particular part of it stood out:

"We believed that in 2010, the phrase “strange fruit” could be used without automatically evoking the Billie Holiday song and its subject matter."

Wow, are you serious?

Check out extra commentary by Jordan Flaherty at Local Outrage at New Orleans Music Magazine Over Racially Insensitive Cover.

What do you think? Did OffBeat really need to apologize or is this a "majoring in minor things" moment?


  1. Thanks for writing about this, Jesse! OffBeat DEFINITELY needed to apologize, and STILL needs to!! What they're calling an apology is easily as offensive as the original cover!! What other reference could this cover POSSIBLY have than the Billy Holiday song??

  2. I truly agree with Emily! This was way off base and it really seems like their apology was not sincere. OffBeat is not officially off of my list of magazines to read. That's how we make them pay.

  3. I see you alls point on this one. But I really could care less. Just don't buy the magazine..that's how you hit them in the hip for this one.

    But i agree it was stupid and the apology sounds arrogant to me.
    Thx for the info brother jesse

  4. Man this is crazy...but i am not surprised. Welcome to the post-racial ignorant America! How could they NOT think this would offend people?

  5. A white woman, age 52, wishes that she was more racially sensitized. Thanks for writing about this, when I read the headline I thought that strange fruit referred to gay men. Now I know better.

  6. Thank you all for the comments

    @Emily You already know I was going to weigh in on this. I got the info from Jordan.

    @James Yea, i am hearing that alot people is going to stop supporting the magazine. To be honest I probably have read it only once or twice

    @Julie Thank you for the statement. This country has a long way to go.

  7. When I saw the cover I immediately thought "uh - oh!" One of my favorite music magazines is in for it! I thought it was a bad choice , I immediately thought of Lynchings and Billy Holiday, and then some white dudes hanging on Monkey bars? A big mistake!

  8. Do you see their faces smiling? How about the fact they're hanging from "monkey bars." A little insensitive, but it is funny, because it is so ignorant. I am an African American, but I think they just didnt know.

  9. Post racial America never existed. Offbeat magazine knew what they were doing.Never support a magazine that uses a song by Billie Holiday(strange fruit) as a cover when they know that her song talks about brutal lynchings.It just devilish period!!

  10. Thanks, Jesse, for passing this story on!


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