Nina Simone Research Paper

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Nina Simone (born Eunice Waymon) was a legendary performer during the 1950s and 1960s. She was also a key figure in the Civil Rights movement during this era and worked very closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X and Lorraine Hansberry which will be discussed in this essay. Simone had a unique method of communicating with people regardless of race or gender which was through her music. This essay will first briefly outline her childhood, Simone’s relationship with her parents and introduction to music. She began playing at the age of three years old and developed her skills playing the organ at sermons that her mother was leading as she was the local minister. She trained as a classical pianist but veered away from the more structured…show more content…
Despite the family’s poverty, Nina Simone’s earliest images of her childhood were pleasant enough. “My first conscious memory of my mother is her singing while she cooks, while she washed clothes” she said. In an interview Simone revealed that “Momma never seemed to worry about being poor or hungry...We weren’t ever hungry ‘cause Momma knew how not to do that It is true we were very poor, but we didn’t feel the poverty because of the way she did things.” Her mother could not stay at home as she carried on a family tradition and became ordained as a travelling Methodist minister, supplementing the spare income with cleaning and domestic work to put food on the table for her family of ten. Although Eunice was the youngest in the family, at three years old she was burdened with the responsibility of nursing her sick father after an operation. “I would take him for a walk every day and fix his meals, I was so happy” she recalled. They shared a very unique bond due to the time that they spent together. “He was energetic, active, well accepted and well respected”, Simone’s sister Carrol informed the media. Eunice never felt the same kind of intimacy from her mother than she did from her father. “I didn’t get enough love from my mum, did not have no affection”, Simone disclosed. “My mother never kissed me, never held me” Simone said in another interview. Her sister Lucille was the oldest sister and…show more content…
This understanding erases Simone's vital contribution, the full depth of her contribution to secular music consciousness, her role in orienting black and white audiences alike to the liberation struggles of the civil-rights movement."
Simone would follow her strand of impassioned activism, becoming a key performer at the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 performing “Mississippi Goddam” before tens of thousands of marchers in Selma on a stage propped up by coffins to represent the bloodshed. Simone engaged in an aggressive, yet empowering dialogue which encouraged militant action and promoted views akin to those of the Black Panther especially in the interest of forming a separate state, in contrast to the language and approach of Martin Luther King. Being black and also a woman she faced a variety of very common yet under-approached issues. Despite the presence of heroes such as Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights Movement to some degree excluded women and more unfortunately, the Feminist Movement excluded women of colour. She was also excluded by key figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. whom she aided in his cause and supported endlessly despite her hope to achieve desegregation and end the
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