Nina Simone: The Liberating Voice for Her People

The Voice

Eunice Kathleen Waymon, popularly known as Nina Simone, was a famous jazz, blues, classical, folk, R&B, and gospel songstress of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Nina Simone was also known for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement as she was an activist who believed in the uplifting of Black people through music and lyrics. Simone wrote the songs “Mississippi Goddam”, “Four Women”, “Young, Gifted, and Black,  “Why (The Love King is Dead)”, and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” as ways of expressing both concern and recognition of historic moments of Black people and their traumas. She used her voice to amplify the soul of Black people and their pain; she was in fact a vital voice of the Civil Rights Movement.

One of Simone’s most famous works was the song “Black Bird”. This song explores the pain and struggle of Black women which triggered conversations within Black communities of women who face intersectionality. The song discusses themes of oppression and lifeless dreams that Black women are born into. I think Nina Simone writes in a way that not only speaks for Black women, but addresses topics that make others reconsider the ways in which they have oppressed Black women.  Nina Simone’s contributions to folk music are essential as many people, specifically Black individuals could feel her soul and liberate themselves in a world of oppression.

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