There is an absolutely brilliant tribute to Nina Simone in the current issue of the Fader. The editors have published a rare collection of pictures that were taken in the 1960s—mostly candid shots of the icon interacting with friends. "Nina Simone: A Song in Many Parts" is accompanied by spot-on commentary by both contemporaries and present-day performers. Below, Ms. Simone as she prepares to perform at Carnegie Hall, 1964.
Dick Gregory, the stand-up comedian and social activist, marched with Nina many times during the civil rights era of the 1960s: "She wasn't that visible because she came didn't come down to sing, she came down to march. I think her nervous breakdown was probably caused by being on the frontline and seeing what actually happened to black folks."
Andy Stroud (above) was married to Nina Simone from 1961 to 1970. He was her longtime business manager and maintains NinaSimone.biz: "When she started writing protest songs, she would see Aretha and Nancy Wilson doing guest appearances and she would go into a frenzy, like 'Why ain't I?!?' I said, 'You can't scream and holler about killing white people and think they're going to have you as an entertainer.' "
Jill Scott met Nina Simone "at a show in Philadelphia five or six years ago. She was so very regal; always wearing her hair natural and always accenting her distinctively African features. To be such a classic beauty, a black woman unabashed, and have the world tell you you're not—the treatment of Nina Simone was rude and very disrespectful."
Kenny Dope, the New York City DJ, is one-half of the legendary Masters at Work production duo that remixed Nina's "See-Line Woman" for Verve Remixed. "We didn't have masters. Her recording was amazing, it was recorded in the 1960s—we just found the break. Her spirit is totally there."
Speaking of Nina Simone's indefatigable spirit ... Black America Web columnist Tonya Weathersbee essays Simone's anthemic "Mississippi Goddam" and the refusal of Haley Barbour—that state's governor and former Republican National chair—to issue a posthumous pardon to wrongly convicted Clyde Kennard, recently profiled here at Rod 2.0.
"Nina Simone: A Song in Many Parts" (The Fader)
Nina Simone: Revisited (VIBE.com)
Previously:Mississippi: No Pardons. Ever. (Rod 2.0)
See Also:New at Rod 2.0—Divas!