The most recent account of the career of Nina Simone comes through a Netflix original documentary entitled What Happened, Miss Simone?
What stands out to many about her — among the many things one hears when witnessing her sounds — is a fierce, sometimes graphic theme to her songs. A month after Martin Luther King gave his iconic speech in the summer of 1963, four girls in Alabama passed after their church was bombed. It would spark a new direction for Simone, now charged with announcing the absurdities that members of her community have suffered, evangelizing freedom and proselytizing what was right. It would begin her journey of living up to the artist’s duty, which — in her own words — is “to reflect the times.”
Her 1964 performance of Mississippi Goddam would immortalize her for shocking a nation with her brash lyrics and unashamed politicking. Not many of her contemporaries would ever be as…
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