Black Labor in Waid and Jones’ “Strange Fruit”

My expectations going into Mark Waid and J.G. Jones’ Strange Fruit were high. I expected to encounter, between the covers, a work that would explore “themes of racism, cultural legacy, and human nature.” Overall, I was a little underwhelmed, and I even questioned the purpose of the comic itself. If, as Waid and Jones argued, they wanted to present a text that examined issues of racism, I feel like they fall exceedingly short. In 2015, Waid stated that as “Southern natives who grew up during the Civil Rights wars … [Jones and I] both feel like we’ve got something personal to say about the racial clashes we saw and experienced first-hand as boys.” This statement does not seem too far-fetched or even negative; however, the execution of transforming this statement into a narrative that dives the depths of these issues leaves much to be desired.

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