When I heard that Nina Simone would be featured on American Masters: How It Feels To Be Free, executive produced by Alicia Keys, I figured that it’s time for me to create my first Medium post. I wrote this piece after Nina’s memorial in 2003.
When the High Priestess of Soul walked on stage, it was to an ovation of clapping, whistling fans in love with her songs, her voice, her hands on the keys, and the ways she so perfectly embodied the message of the times. I sat between my mother and her lifelong friend, Shirley, mesmerized. I was ten.