Nina Simone, Baltimore, and Voices of the Unheard

nina-simone-1969

A couple days ago, I came across this clip of Nina Simone singing “Revolution” at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969. It was shown at the end of a very insightful video report from Democracy Now!: Voices of the Unheard in the Baltimore Streets, in which people in Baltimore are interviewed while cleaning up some of the destruction from the recent riots, marching peacefully, and standing in a line next to the police in an effort to keep the streets calm.

There are so many layers to what’s happening there (and all over the country), and multi-faceted reporting like this is crucial to increase understanding of the complexity of the situation. I was really glad I watched it, and I highly recommend.

Then Nina’s voice came on, singing a song I’d never heard before, and it completely captured me.

These are some of the lyrics:

I’m talkin’ about a revolution
because I’m talkin’ about a change
it’s more than just air pollution
well you know we all got to clean our brains
the only way that we can stand in fact
is when they get that foot off our back

Forty-six years later, and still heartbreakingly relevant.

Watch ‘Voices of the Unheard in the Baltimore Streets’ here.

And a new documentary on Nina Simone is being released June 26th. Check out the trailer here.

Have a great weekend, everyone. :)

~C.

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