Nina Simone And Billie Holiday

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During the 1950’s and 1960’s, there was the need and desire for social justice, so that African Americans could gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement defeated the injustice of public facilities being segregated by “race” in the South. Two women who advocated for black justice during the Civil Rights Movement through the use of music are Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Simone is an American singer who sang a mix of blues, jazz, and folk music. She was known for songs like “ Young, Gifted and Black,” “ Four Woman,” and “ Mississippi Goddam.” Holiday is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of all time. She was addicted to heroin and in 1959 she died from a drug and alcohol problem. Although Nina Simone’s “ Mississippi Goddam”and Billie Holiday’s “ Strange Fruit” are about different events or topics that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement, both songs successfully became national anthems as they protested white American’s acts of violence against African Americans and helped support struggles for black freedom in the United States. Simone was furious with the idea “ that race relations should change gradually, that the South was unique in terms of discrimination, and that African Americans could or would patiently seek political rights.” She was extremely angry with the racism she lived through, and with the fact she was told to take things slow. Simone found out that “four young African American girls had been
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