“This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it yet,” Nina Simone told her audience at Carnegie Hall as she and the band vamped the opening chord of "Mississippi Goddam," in a style some call "Broadway twos." Incongruous much?
She is the subject of a documentary (streaming at NetFlix) called What Happened, Miss Simone? that debuted at Sundance in January and was covered Saturday at the Atlantic.
Not content to rehash a string of hits, her performances of the song became a testament to principle over career. The backlash was overwhelming in its toxicity and led to her eventual expatriation to Paris. One might be tempted to say "but that was then and this is now."
We know better.