The South: Herald of the Dream

God-fearing white folk in Georgia's Rabun County were scandalized in 1944 when "Miss Lil," Judge Frank Smith's middle-aged spinster sister, wrote a harrowing, compassionate novel about a Negro girl who was made pregnant and abandoned by a no-account white man. Lillian Eugenia Smith's Strange Fruit was unfashionably out of step with its time and place. It ridiculed white supremacy, scathingly described the lynch-burning of a Negro wrongly suspected of murder, and was spattered with words that a Southern lady was not even supposed to know. Its prose won no literary prizes, but the book sold more than 3,000,000 copies...

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