I mean every word.
July 14, 2017 5:57 AM   Subscribe

"The bombing of the little girls in Alabama and the murder of Medgar Evers were like the final pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that made no sense until you had fitted the whole thing together. I suddenly realized what it was to be Black in America in 1963, but it wasn’t an intellectual connection…it came as a rush of fury, hatred and determination." Nina Simone's husband and manager, intervened. "You can’t kill anyone. You are a musician. Do what you do." An hour later, Nina Simone had composed a song called Mississippi Goddam.
posted by ChuraChura (6 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
“And until songs like ‘Mississippi Goddam’ just burst out of me, I had musical problems as well. How can you take the memory of a man like Medgar Evers and reduce all that he was to three and a half minutes and a simple tune? That was the musical side of it I shied away from; I didn’t like ‘protest music’ because a lot of it was so simple and unimaginative it stripped the dignity away from the people it was trying to celebrate. But the Alabama church bombing and the murder of Medgar Evers stopped that argument and with ‘Mississippi Goddam,’ I realized there was no turning back.” Good stuff. Thank you, ChuraChura.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:20 AM on July 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you have Netflix, check out What Happened, Miss Simone? documentary
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:58 PM on July 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

I didn't know the song. Glad you posted this and sadly very current
posted by biggreenplant at 6:12 AM on July 15, 2017

After "Mississippi Goddam": Nina Simone in Liberia, by Katherina Grace Thomas and for Guernica.

"She was forty-one when she first landed at Robertsfield International Airport, her twelve-year-old daughter Lisa in tow, their belongings—clothes, books, records—packed into the belly of a Pan Am jet. Six years had passed since Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination; nine since Simone had belted out protest songs during the Selma to Montgomery voting-rights march. Although black America still saw her as a talented political performer, a civil-rights revolutionary armed with loud and furious song—“Oh, but this whole country is full of lies, you’re all gonna die and die like flies,” she sang in “Mississippi Goddam,” berating the go-slow politics of the Johnson administration—she had seen little racial progress. Two of the big six were dead, as were her friends Langston Hughes and Malcom X; Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were in jail. The rhythm of the civil-rights movement had ebbed, and Simone wondered if her cris de coeur for a more just racial order had fallen short."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:06 AM on July 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thanks for that article, monkeytoes!!
posted by ChuraChura at 7:11 AM on July 15, 2017

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