The American jazz singer was not just a fabulously talented musician, but a true inspiration to boot...
In 1964, the African American singer Nina Simone openly expressed her feelings about the racial injustice in her country for the first time when she performed a new song, Mississippi Goddam, at Carnegie Hall.
The protest song was Simone’s reaction to the recent assassination of Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi, and the bombing of a church in Alabama, where four children were killed.
Simone herself had experienced the reality of racial injustice from a young age. She had been rejected by the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music as a teenager, despite a well-received audition, simply because of the colour of her skin.
This protest song and others that she wrote at the time became central to the Civil Rights movement, and Mississippi Goddam became an anthem for those seeking equality in the US. It was even banned in several Southern states.
The song initially sounds like a show tune, but quickly makes its political message clear with the line, ‘You don’t have to live next to me, just give me my equality!’
Watch Simone’s amazing performance, and prepared to be inspired by her courage and determination for justice.
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