Nina Simone is
well-known African-American singer and activist during the Civil Rights
movement. She became one of the most important voices in American history. She
was not afraid of expressing how she really felt to her audience. Her song
“Mississippi Goddam” shows how much Nina Simone was not afraid to use her
status to sing about political issues.
Goddam” is Nina Simone’s response to the murder of civil rights activist Medgar
Evers and the bombing of the 16th street Baptist church in
Birmingham, Alabama. The song was then first sung in Carnegie Hall in 1964, in
which majority of the audience was white audience.
When Simone began
to sing the song she told the audience that the song was “a show tune, but the
show hasn’t been written yet.” The song then begins with Simone singing “Alabama
has got me so upset, Tennessee has made me lose the rest. And everybody knows
about Mississippi Goddam.” As Simone is singing, she is playing a rather happy
piano instrumental. Even though the song has a rather joyful tune, there is
nothing happy in Simone’s lyrics.
wrote and sang this song because she wanted her audience to know about the
injustice and discrimination African-American people were facing with at the
time. When Simone performed “Mississippi Goddam” in 1964, it was during the
height of the Civil Rights movement. I believe Simone wanted to address this
issue because she felt that people were dismissing the fact that people were
being killed all because they wanted equality.