It’s no secret that Trump’s list of Inauguration performers reads like a who’s who of…who? With just over two weeks until the big day, the Inauguration committee has locked down just three acts: The Radio City Rockettes, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir–minus those who have quit due to their inability to stomach performing for someone who employs a “no fat chicks allowed” mantra and a 16-year-old “America’s Got Talent” singer named Jackie Evancho.
In their attempts to provide the people with a “tremendous” show, they have also reached out to British pop singer, and my new hero, Rebecca Ferguson. Her Twitter response to the invite is like verbal catnip.
Ferguson wrote she would accept, “If you allow me to sing “strange fruit”, a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington.”
The song was originally a poem written by Jewish poet, Abel Meeropol about the lynching and hanging of two black men in the 1930s South and was blacklisted in the United States for its controversial and grisly imagery.
Ferguson’s response is genius for two reasons; it forces the Trump administration and its followers to openly address the backwards and incredibly harmful relationship they have with the American black community. It’s also sends a clear massage depending on how Trump and his committee decide to respond to Ferguson’s conditions. If they rescind the invitation, the divisiveness felt in this country will no longer be just a feeling.
Ferguson’s response raises a lot of heavy issues but they’re issues that are necessary and require action over conversation. The singer is forcing Trump to take action and show us the kind of president we can expect and that is commendable.
Also, Obama had Beyoncé, Aretha, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Yo-Yo Ma at his inauguration to name a few. Just sayin’.