Eunice Kathleen Waymon, musically known as Nina Simone is an American icon. She used to her music to tell stories and create a legacy of liberation, passion, empowerment, and love. In addition to being a talented musician and vocalist Nina was active in the fight for civil rights.
Nina started her journey in music as a child. She began learning to play piano at the age of three. She went on to study classical piano at the Juilliard School in New York City. Unfortunately, she to leave early because she ran out of money. But, that didn’t stop her destiny to leave a mark in the industry. She performed at nightclubs and earned fans such as Langston Hughes, and James Baldwin.
Nina was born in North Carolina on February 21, 1933. Growing up in the deep south, she had to deal with extreme racism. During one of her recitals at the age of 12 her parents were forced to sit at the back. She was even claims that she was denied admittance to Curtis Institute of music on grounds of race.
This was one of the experiences that ignited her passion for civil rights.
Her passion for social justice was evident in her in her music. Songs like “Mississippi Goddamn” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” display her concerns about the treatment of black people.
Her career suffered from her outspokenness about civil rights issues. As a result, she spent most of the 1970s struggling both financially and with her mental health.
She died at the age of 70, in 2003.
Fifteen years later, Nina Simone’s music continues to inspire a wide range of audiences. She was recently the subject of two documentaries, “Nina” and “What Happened, Miss Simone?”.
“Bio.” The Official Home of Nina Simone, 4 Apr. 2014, www.ninasimone.com/bio/.
Biography.com Editors. “Nina Simone.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 18 July 2019, www.biography.com/musician/nina-simone.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Nina Simone.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 17 Apr. 2020, www.britannica.com/biography/Nina-Simone.