AUTHOR: Feldstein, Ruth
SOURCE: Journal of American History; Mar2005, Vol. 91 Issue 4, p1349
Abstract: Explores the nature and implications of Nina Simone's activism in the 1960s and the sources for the subsequent invisibility of that activitsm. Information on the "Mississippi Goddam," a civil rights song written by Simone; Argument on music and self-presentation of Simone; Views on her assessments of liberal activism.
Extract: " In September 15, 1963, Nina Simone learned that four young African American girls had been killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to that point, Simone, an African American singer, pianist, and songwriter, had an eclectic repertoire that blended jazz with blues, gospel, and classical music. Immediately after hearing about the events in Birmingham, however, Simone wrote the song “Mississippi Goddam.” It came to her in a “rush of fury, hatred and determination” as she “suddenly realized what it was to be black in America in 1963.” It was, she said, “my first civil rights song.”