SALUTE!!! Queen-Mother Ms. Simone
Nina Simone had no filter. She spoke with candor about civil rights when many in her position didn’t dare. She sang about uncomfortable subjects and made sure her audiences understood what those songs were really about. Whether due to the demons that haunted her or the overpowering desire for social justice that burned deep in her heart, Simone always told the goddam truth.
“White people had Judy Garland. We had Nina.” –Richard Pryor
It was a humid summer evening in Philadelphia in 2000 when I met the legendary singer, pianist, and activist Nina Simone. At sixty-seven years old, the squat Simone, who began her musical journey as a child playing gentle classical music and gospel hymns in her hometown church, Old St. Luke’s CME in Tryon, North Carolina, was back in “the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” to be honored for her contributions to Black music.
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