Nina Simone The Emotional Depths of the Spirit World
"Although this style of singing has sometimes been described as letting it all hang out or letting one’s self go, there is a huge amount of discipline and artistry required to successfully execute these kinds of performances where the artist clearly becomes a vessel ridden by some invisible force."
"With a voice that embodied the pain and power of the scattered African diaspora and classic West African facial features that suggested a short distance between the Tyron, North Carolina of her birth and Kwame Nkrumuh's Ghana, Nina Simone couldn't help being political."
"Simone credits the great black playwright Lorraine Hansberry as the person who “allowed me to see the bigger picture”. Hansberry, she said, “saw civil rights as only one part of the wider racial and class struggle”.
"When the Hansberry died of cancer at the age of 34, Simone wrote and recorded a song in her honour. Its title, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”, was the name of the play Hansberry was writing at the time of her death. The song went on to become an anthem of the civil rights movement."
This tune "Mississippi Goddamn" was written after the church bombing of at unresolved case of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little Black girls, Adie Mae Collins, 14, Carol Denise McNair, 11, Carole Rosamond Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14.
"There was something about the heaviness in the timbre of Simone's voice and the lightness of her fingers on the piano keys that produced a sound of tremendous joy and tremendous sorrow -- simultaneously."
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