Black History Month: Miss Nina Simone
Miss Nina Simone
I do not believe I had heard of Miss Nina Simone until I was in my early 20s. I had heard of her because during American Idol people would try to sing her song "Feeling good" and all would butcher it. I mean so many people were booted from American Idol because they could not execute this song. I was confused because it didn't seem that difficult of a song. However, I was naïve. Extremely naïve which I am ashamed to admit. Had I did my research, I would have known that Miss Nina Simone created this masterpiece from a place of turmoil, triumph, and hope for the future. They couldn't capture the despair and the raw feeling and the emotion that all boiled in her as she belted out this song. This is one of many songs that Ms. Simone contributed to us that continues to reinforce why she was such a treasure. Born Eunice Kathleen Wayman in 1933, Miss Nina Simone was a singer, songwriter, talented pianist, and a passionate civil rights activists. Born in North Carolina, Miss Simone would grow up to play for large crowds around the United States and ultimately around the world. As she pushed through many personal issues such as racism and poverty, Miss Simone knew that she was going to be something great.
Adopting the stage name of Nina Simone, she would move forward to mix jazz, blues, and classical music into a new sound that took many by storm. As she became older and more involved with the civil rights movement, Miss Simone became known for recording controversial songs as well as powerful speeches that spoke to her black brothers and sisters. She wrote a song called "Mississippi Goddamn" that hurt her career leading to the music industry boycotting her music. Later on in life she would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder which spoke to some of the erratic behavior that contributed to her disappearance from the public eye. She would later come back to the public and release several albums and travel the world touring, letting people know that she was still here. She died in 2003 in her home in southern France. She was truly an extraordinary woman, but I don't think that word truly can't convey her extraordinary life. On Netflix there is a documentary called "What happened, Miss Simone."It is a wonderfully created documentary thats shows miss Simone as she is. It showed multiple live clips of her speeches, interviews, and performances. Miss Simone should be continually recognized for her contributions to not just black society but American society. Find more about Miss Nina Simone here: