Nina Simone & Social Change

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Ms. Alvarado's presentation for "Acting Up - Using Theater & Technology for Social Change."

Ms. Alvarado's presentation for "Acting Up - Using Theater & Technology for Social Change."

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  • This revolutionary era gave birth to music that would forever be associated with the civil rights movement. Artists used the performance stage as a platform to voice their political protest. Among the many artists that ruled the era, the passion, talent and temperament of Nina Simone stood out far more than the rest.


  • 1. Music Moves the Soul Nina Simone: Singer, Pianist, Political & Social Activist
  • 2. High Priestess of Soul
    • In the beginning…
    • Playing piano at age 4
    • Raised in humble household
    • Attended Julliard School of Music
    • Denied admission to Curtis Institute of Music
    • Limited personal experience with racism
  • 3. In the Movement
    • Mississippi Goddam:
    • inspired by killings and church bombing in Alabama
    • Lyrical Excerpt:
    • “ Hound dogs on my trail
    • School children sitting in jail
    • Black cat cross my path
    • I think every days gonna be my last
    • Lord have mercy on this land of mine…”
    • To Be Young, Gifted and Black:
    • known as an anthem of civil rights movement
    • Lyrical Excerpt:
    • “ Say it clear, say it loud, I am Black and
    • I am proud!”
  • 4. African-American Culture
    • Identified with struggle of the civil rights movement through her persona as well as her song
    • Choice of wardrobe changed gradually as her political views became louder
  • 5. Activism through Song
    • Music = Political Weapon
    • ______________
    • Emotional approach
    • Raw lyrical content
    • Political undertone
    • ______________
  • 6. In the Revolution
    • Revolution
    • Lyrical Excerpt
    • “ And now we got a revolution
    • Cause I see the face of things to come
    • Yeah, your Constitution
    • Well, my friend, its gonna have to bend
    • I’m here to tell you about destruction
    • Of all the evil that will have to end.”
  • 7. Martin Luther King, Jr. Why? (The King of Love is Dead)
    • Will the murders never cease, Are thy men or are they beasts? What do they ever hope,
    • ever hope to gain?
    • Will my country fall, stand or fall? Is it too late for us all? And did Martin Luther King
    • just die in vain?
    He was for equality, For all people you and me, Full of love and good will, hate was not his way. He was not a violent man. Tell me folks if you can, Just why, why was he shot down the other day? ”
  • 8. Her music lives on today…
    • Her songs motivated the souls of those who needed uplifting
    • Spoke to the heart as much then as they do today
    • Captivate the ear and make the mind think twice.
    • Her passion and strong voice elevated broken spirits.
    • Her voice as an instrument to voice the truth raise awareness of during the civil rights era