Nina Simone iswell-known African-American singer, pianist, and activist during the CivilRights movement.
She played a lot of different styles of music such as jazz,R&B, gospel, folk and pop. She became one of the most important voices inAmerican music and history. She was not afraid of expressing how she reallyfelt to her audience. Her song “Mississippi Goddam” shows how much Nina Simonewas not afraid to use her status to sing about political issues. “MississippiGoddam” is Simone’s response to the murder of civil rights activist MedgarEvers and the bombing of the 16th street Baptist church inBirmingham, Alabama, which four black girls were killed. The song was thenfirst sung in Carnegie Hall in 1964 to a predominantly white audience.
When she beganto sing the song she told the audience that the song was “a show tune, but theshow hasn’t been written yet.” The song then begins with Simone singing “Alabamahas got me so upset, Tennessee has made me lose the rest. And everybody knowsabout Mississippi Goddam.
” As Simone is singing, she is playing a rather happypiano instrumental. Which means that Nina Simone is using the style of musicironically. Even though the song has a rather joyful tune, there is nothinghappy in Simone’s lyrics.
She does not try to attempt to hide her disgusttowards Mississippi. As the song continues, Simone is Nina Simonewrote and sang this song because she wanted her audience to know about theinjustice and discrimination African-American people were facing with at thetime. When Simone performed “Mississippi Goddam” in 1964, it was during theheight of the Civil Rights movement.
I believe Simone wanted to address thisissue because she felt that people were dismissing the fact that people werebeing killed all because they wanted equality.