The Effects of Lynching in Today’s Society


Rugenia Moore Henry
Rugenia Moore Henry is a life-long educator who is a past teacher, administrator, and counselor in states across the South and in the Midwest. Her experiences in language arts and literature on the secondary and junior college levels have kept her motivated to continue the mentorship of young people long after leaving the traditional classroom setting. As a language arts marketing manager for a well-known textbook publisher, she was provided educational opportunities not only in forty of the states in America but also parts of the Virgin Islands. She has won numerous awards and earned various recognitions, including Teacher of the Year in both Arkansas and Tennessee. Her after classroom life involves teaching special needs individuals skills that will provide them with more independent lifestyles. Church affiliations and membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. keep her busy doing many of the activities she enjoys in her spare time.

The Effects of Lynching in Today’s Society: is it still strange fruit hanging from the poplar tree?

Lynching Just Ain’t What it used to be!

I get it! Death is a part of life. But what kind of life is it when man fears death…unnecessarily? When we think back to the 1900s and think forward to the 2000s, not much has changed, or has it? That “strange fruit that hung from the poplar tree” has taken on a different facade and the black man’s life is still filled with the fear of death…unnecessarily.

So, I say…lynching just ain’t what it used to be!

Ain’t no more strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Just strange vehicles chasing the dawn to dusk highway breeze.


Or, is it a smoked-filled mirror in a prison cell, where blankets ball up in a corner where he, supposedly, fell?


Or, a figure walking across the yard with his “hands up,” or a woman on the jail floor beaten to a pulp?


No, the fruit may no longer hang from the poplar trees, but mothers are spending more time on bending knees.


Echoes of despair pleading “Don’t shoot”! and insiders giving a false case mildly put!


While ain’t no harvest from the poplar tree cause’ it’s all scattered from sea to sea.


Mothers crying out, fathers don’t want to see that the fruit ain’t hanging where it used to be.


It’s in the heads of those who refuse to be free, free from the hatred, bitterness, and defeat.


Hanging on to that tree limb that captures a man’s thoughts, refusing to surrender to a battle years ago fought.


So, what if there still was the popular tree, fruit hanging, staring back at me?


Or, a pistol, a shotgun, an evil eye, waiting in the darkness or under the awestruck sky?


I ain’t worried; I ain’t scared. There just ain’t no reason to be afraid.


There is my God with wide-open arms, reminding me of my future… yes, my future above.


Still alive in the groin of many: the root of evil standing firm and cold, refusing to acknowledge that God is in control.


Composed/Written by Rugenia Moore Henry January 2019