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Strange Fruit: How Watermelons Became A Racist Trope

lucy higgs nichols
Laura Ellis

They're a delicious summertime snack — but they're also associated with a long-standing stereotype about black people. This week we talk to historian Bill Black from Rice University about how watermelons became a racist symbol.

And an exhibit at the Carnegie Center for Art and History tells the fascinating life story of Lucy Higgs Nichols. She went from enslavement in Tennessee to working as a nurse with the 23rd Indiana Volunteers during the Civil War. Al Gorman with the Carnegie joins us to talk about Nichols' life and local ties, and what you can see in the exhibit.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.