Nina Simone. Mississippi Goddam. New York City. Carnegie Hall. 1964.
“When every day is a matter of survival I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mould this country, or it will not be moulded and shaped at all.
An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times…I choose to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself” Nina Simone. Interview. Down Beat. 1968.
Simone had always included songs in her repertoire that drew upon her African-American origins (such as “Brown Baby” by Oscar Brown and “Zungo” by Michael Olatunji in her album Nina at the Village Gate in 1962).
On her debut album for Philips, Nina Simone in Concert (live recording, 1964), for the first time she openly addressed the racial inequality that was prevalent in the United States with the song “Mississippi Goddam”, her response to the June 12, 1963, murder of Medgar Evers and the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four young black girls and partially blinded a fifth girl who survived. The song was released as a single. Simone later recalled how “Mississippi Goddam” was her “first civil rights song” and that the song came to her “in a rush of fury, hatred and determination.
Simone received two honorary degrees in music and humanities, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Malcolm X College. She preferred to be called “Dr. Nina Simone” after these honors were bestowed upon her. Only two days before her death, Simone was awarded an honorary degree by the Curtis Institute, the music school that had refused to admit her as a student at the beginning of her career. Simone was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2010, Tryon, North Carolina erected a statue in her honor along Trade Street.
YouTube Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBiAtwQZnHs
Artist : Nina Simone
Nina Simone Quartet
Nina Simone – piano, vocals,