Nina Simone – Backlash Blues

civil rights song that makes a reference to the Vietnam War: https://rateyourmusic.com/list/JBrumm… From the 1967 album “Nina Simone Sings the Blues” (RCA Victor LSP-3789 / US / LP / 33rpm). Composed by Nina Simone and Langston Hughes. “Mr. Backlash, Mr. Backlash Who do you think I am You raise my taxes, freeze my wages And […]

Pan-Afrikanism: The Real Afro-Futurism

Black Panthers and Africa: “I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.”    Kwame Nkrumah “The fortunes of the African revolution are closely linked with the world-wide struggle against imperialism. It does not matter where the battle erupts, be it in Africa, Asia or Latin America, the master-mind […]

Songs of struggle, then and now

By Jennie Josephson Picture dated October 22, 1991, of legendary jazz and blues singer Nina Simone in concert at the Olympia music hall in Paris.  – Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/justjenniej/playlist/1WQlaRgoFpkre0d4lrUt21 The musical bridges in this week’s episode of Make Me Smart are examples of music that emerged from populist movements in the United States. “The Farmer is the […]

A Raised Voice

How Nina Simone turned the movement into music. By Claudia Roth Pierpont Simone with James Baldwin in the early sixties. Her intelligence and restless force attracted African-American culture’s finest minds. Courtesy New York Public Library. “My skin is black,” the first woman’s story begins, “my arms are long.” And, to a slow and steady beat, “my […]

A History of Amerikan Protest Music: When Nina Simone Sang What Everyone Was Thinking

“Mississippi Goddam” was an angry response to tragedy, in show tune form.   by Tom Maxwell    On June 12, 1963, in the early morning after president John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights address, activist Medgar Evers was shot in the back as he stood in the driveway of his Mississippi home. He was returning from […]

Nina Simone on Time

A meditation on the one dimension of human existence that “goes past all racial conflict and all kinds of conflicts.” BY MARIA POPOVA   “If our heart were large enough to love life in all its detail, we would see that every instant is at once a giver and a plunderer,” wrote the French philosopher […]

Five Songs Of Resistance: Nina Simone

  Damien Mitchell’s Nina Simone, Bushwick, Brooklyn (Photo by Shawn Hoke) “Give me my equality,” sang the genius Nina Simone in 1963, looking racist America straight in the eye. Singer, songwriter, pianist, and activist, Simone’s work was radical and revolutionary. Musically, Simone was brilliantly innovative, drawing from her classical piano training, her experiences working in […]

ESSAY: NINA SIMONE

    NINA SIMONE   Nina is song. Not just a vocalist or singer, but actual song. The physical vibration and the meaning too. A reflection and projection of a certain segment of our mesmerizing ethos. Culturally specific in attitude, in rhythm, in what she harmonizes with and what she clashes against, merges snugly into […]

FIVE REASONZ WHY NINA SIMONE IZ A TIMELEZZ QUEEN

by By T. McLendon Nina Simone would have been 84 years old today and in thinking about her contributions to Black thought, music, style, and activism, we can’t think of a single reason why she shouldn’t be celebrated. Take a look at these five reasons why Nina Simone was and is a timeless queen. Musical Excellence: […]