Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nina Simone

            Born in 1933 in North Carolina, Nina Simone is known as the "Priestess of Soul". Nina Simone was a Talented and passionate woman and that is evident by her music. Nina Simone wrote many songs in response the violence. Unlike MLK, she advocated a violent revolution, clearly represented by her song “ Pirate Jenny
In 1964 as a response to a church bombing that took the life of children and the murder of  M. Evens, an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi who was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery after being assassinated by Ku Klux Klan member. Nina Simone released a single that was boycotted in many southern states the song was called "Mississippi Goddam". Opposite to “Strange fruit” famously preformed by Billy Holiday and other similar songs, Mississippi Goddam went straight to the point. The song begins with she letting the listener know she means every word of it. The song sounds like the head lines for the new. New that where hidden or sugar coated or excused by the media.
“Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day's gonna be my last”
“Picket lines
School boycotts
They try to say it's a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and me”
 Nina Simone told it like she saw it and how she felt it.
“Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam”
            She also mentioned the frustration about the progress of the movement and identifies some problems.
“But that's just the trouble
"do it slow"
Washing the windows
"do it slow"
Picking the cotton
"do it slow"
You're just plain rotten
"do it slow"
You're too damn lazy
"do it slow"
The thinking's crazy
"do it slow"
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don't know
I don't know”
            In my opinion, the song speaks for its self.
Nina Simone lived abroad for many years in fact she died 2002 in the south of France.


1 comment:

  1. That's an interesting connection you make in the end. Richard Wright and James Baldwin, whom we'll read soon, also both chose to live abroad in part to escape racism. Wright fled racism by going North, and then he left the whole country.

    Pirate Jenny is an interesting example - she was taking it from a diffent context and applying it to the situation around her. Could be a possible research topic!