Thursday, February 21, 2013

Remembering Nina Simone

Nina Simone was born February 21, 1933, so today we celebrate what would have been her 80th birthday.

The Nina Simone website provides information about her extraordinary life and provides an opportunity to listen to some of her music. In reading her biography, I was most surprised to learn that she did not start out as a singer. Rather, she was a child prodigy on piano. Once she did raise her voice, she did so not only in song, but to fight for freedom and equality.

The following poem was inspired by a quote from her, which is included as the epigram:


There’s no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were.-Nina Simone

In a perfect world,
you would remember
each of us by name.
But, the world isn’t
perfect, is it?
In fact, it was an
imperfect world
that drove us to
our place in history.
We marched and
sat where it was forbidden.
Felt the force of
the hoses and insults
and the impact of
the beatings and bombings.
We fought for change and
new opportunities.
Maybe you will do the same.
If you do, we hope someone
remembers your name.

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