Still In Blackface
Sengbe Ben Yosef
I didn’t learn about Nina Simone until I was in my late teens but from that point in my life I was determined to learn more about this marvelous singer. I believe one of the first songs I heard was the song “Mississippi Got Dam” that was back in my early Hip Hop days and I was thinking I would like to sample her voice because it was so powerful. In my twenties, I learned Nina Simone was a wonderful pianist and an activist also. After hearing her speak I was more in love with this woman who my grandma would call plain looking but not in a bad way. I think my grandma was just expressing the stigma that came from women like her and Nina having the darkest of skin. Nina’s skin color was another reason I was madly in love with her; that and the fact she could sing. I guess her appearance and her singing remind me of my grandmother.
I could quote Nina all day she had a powerful way of relaying her message both in talking and in song. Sometimes the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up while I was listening to her. When spoke out for our causes I was equally moved. There was a powerful magic with her and in her voice. I couldn’t help but listen to her when she spoke. In an interview, she was once asked why she was so insistent in promoting blackness and black culture. Ms. Simone said: I have no chose in the matter. She went on to say that to her we are the most beautiful creature on the earth. That’s why when Hollywood decided to mock her memory with this modern day black-face movie I was outraged and were many other people who could see this sham for what it really is.Interview With Nina
This movie seems to be Hollywood way of putting Nina Simone under their control. They couldn’t control her in life so they turn to trying to destroy her image. I mean to put this queen in a movie with of all things an actress wearing black-face seems more like a slap in the face than a tribute to her noble legacy in the music and activism. I’m willing to bet the Hollywood produce will say that we are over-reacting and that we should give the piece a chance to before we judge it. That seems to me like they want to punch you in the face first and then say “there’s no need to be upset, let’s all calm down first and take easy”. What a joke; really Hollywood? I say it’s time we draw the line and take back control over the images of hero’s. For too many years Hollywood has controlled the images of black people and it’s time we say no more. No more shuck ‘in and jive’ in and above all things no more black-face.