I enjoy the posts of Danielwalldammit on his blog northierthanthou. He is very thoughtful, clever, funny, and he lives way the hell up in Alaska, which for a New Englander is wicked cool. He also saved my posting bacon with his post yesterday. I was really on empty. I didn’t even have a hamster picture to share, which is my overwhelm go-to. No, this was more like opening the refrigerator 20 times, thinking this time there will be something tasty to eat. I had nothin’. Then I read his post and thought, “Yes! I’m stealing this!” He made me Google and learn something, so now you get to learn it too. Thanks Danielwalldammit.
I had never heard of the song “Mississippi Goddam,” so I looked it up. He posted the two videos, one of the original singer Nina Simone (1965) and another version by AhSa-Ti Nu (2016). 50 years and not much has changed. Nina was a singer/songwriter but hadn’t written any protests songs. According to the article on American Songwriter, she said, “I didn’t like ‘protest music’ because a lot of it was so simple and unimaginative it stripped the dignity away from the people it was trying to celebrate.” Then on Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963 four young Black girls died in a white supremacist terror attack that would become known as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Simone was also lamenting the recent murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi. She channeled her anger into music. I found it powerful and disturbing. Have a listen.
Here is the original northierthanthou post.
Photo credit: Mental Floss, “13 Fascinating Facts about Nina Simone”