Ourstorian

For those of us coming of age in the tumultuous sixties, Nina Simone was an iconic figure of struggle and revolution. Often referred to as the High Priestess of Soul, in hindsight she now seems more like a goddess. That voice, that stage presence, that piano virtuosity, that ability to switch effortlessly between musical genres in the same set (folk, jazz, blues, pop, classical, gospel) distinguished her from her contemporaries and elevated her to a musical pantheon all her own. When Eunice Katherine Waymond (her birth name) showed up to play she wasn’t playing.

Simone provided the soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement. From Mississippi Goddam, which she penned and released in 1964 in response to the assassination of Medgar Evers and the murder of four little black girls in Birmingham, to To BeYoung Gifted and Black (lyrics by Weldon Irvine) inspired by…

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