theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
When armored troops and tanks arrived in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, advancing on civilians with guns drawn and launching tear gas canisters into the crowd, more than a few people watching it happen exclaimed, “Missouri Goddam!” After the Charleston, SC massacre last summer, many exclaimed, “South Carolina Goddam!” The phrases directly reference an earlier, all too similar, time in the violent history of civil rights struggles, 1964, when Nina Simone wrote and performed “Mississippi Goddam” (above in Holland). It was “a song that would change her career,” writes Matt Staggs at Signature, “complicating her relationship with the white establishment while cementing her allegiance with the civil rights movement.”
After her ambitions as a concert pianist were frustrated, Simone rose to fame as a brilliantly talented performer of classical, jazz, folk, blues, and cabaret music. She “did not so much interpret songs,” writes Adam Shatz in the New York Review of Books
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