Nina Simone

Nina Simone Mural

Nina Simone, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina on February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina, was a trailblazing singer, pianist, and civil rights activist. Her passion for music emerged at an early age. She  learned to play the piano by three years old. In spite of racial barriers, Nina's undeniable talent earned her a scholarship to study classical music at the Juilliard School in New York.

In the 1950s, she began performing in nightclubs and adopted the stage name "Nina Simone" to keep her family unaware of her musical pursuits. Her unique blend of jazz, blues, and soul captivated audiences, and she gained recognition for her powerful and soul-stirring performances.

I’m a real rebel with a cause.

As the civil rights movement gained momentum, Nina Simone became deeply involved. She used her fame as a platform for activism. Simone advocated for racial equality, performing at marches and speaking out against injustice. Her activism and artistry were inseparable thus making her an icon of the era.

Nina Simone's impact on the music industry and civil rights movement remains profound. Her legacy as a talented musician and fearless advocate inspires artists and activists alike. 

Simone made significant musical contributions that profoundly impacted the Civil Rights Movement. Through her poignant lyrics, she brought attention to racial injustice, inspiring activists with empowering songs like "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black" and "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." She also paid tribute to Civil Rights leaders through her music, exemplified by the moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the song "Why? (The King of Love is Dead)" following his tragic assassination in 1968. Notably, Simone's music played a role in raising awareness of racial oppression and served as a motivating force for civil rights activists, urging them to persevere in the fight for freedom.