The image of black men hanging from Southern trees, like "strange fruit" as Billie Holiday sang,1 is a visual memory both haunting and obscure, unforgettable but misremembered. These images are everywhere around us, in books, in museums, in magazines, and on

television, evoked in verbal imagery or reprinted in pictorial representation, yet little is known about them. For African-American writer Jacquie Jones, the photograph she witnessed above (see Figure 1), represented racism itself-the image of a white mob casually surrounding an almost otherworldly black man lynched from a tree was more explicit and immediate than any other expression of racial violence and oppression. "It devastated," she writes, "because it made concrete in one moment the brutal history, the living legacy of human bondage and racial tyranny that Americans, both black and white, would prefer to forget" (Jones 1994,157).