Sunday, July 08, 2007

NINA SIMONE- DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD (1964)

I love the spirit of the young people in the 1960s. There were blacks and whites coming together to fight for the common good. They all had their differences, misconceptions, and prejudices, but some of them saw it fit to join hands to fight the powers that be. We have a chance to do that today with more than just black and white hands. Nina Simone expresses it so well in this song. Please listen and look. In the end, the question is what are we fighting for today or are we fighting anything at all?

21 comments:

amiamazing said...

we have come a long way...however with recent events I feel like we are rewinding backwards as a society...the powers that be are afraid of the future and by reinventing the past makes it more comfortable for them to digest...so we all become stuck...is there a glitch in the matrix?...it is the powers that be whose intentions that I worry about...why must the oppressed souls plead for their genuine intentions? We will always be over-under-mis-understood...cause our souls will always be questioned...simply due to the fact that we are still here...and we have come along way...

thank you for your comment you should check in more often...

Michael J. West said...

That's a song by Eric Burdon and the Animals. Nina was brilliant for her ability to reinvent pop songs of the '60s. God, I love her.

Today's struggle? Complicated in a way that it wasn't in the '60s. You knew who the bad guy was back then: the guys in the sheets, the policemen turning dogs on you, the governor standing in the schoolhouse door saying "Segregation forever!" These days the bad guy is more likely to hide behind everybody else, and behind politics and legal considerations and such. In many cases, you don't even know if the bad guy is white. Much of the struggle seems to take place within the African-American community.

Stephen Bess said...

Amia-
Thanks for that comment. I am still trying to figure out what is on the minds of those who control our government. If they are trying to reinvent the past history has shown that things must and will get to a volatile point. I don't know if anyone is prepared for that.

Mike-
You're correct. The enemy is not so clear now. The issue is that there was a great deal of damage done to black people here in America over a long period of time. I mean over a century. The problem is that we have not started the healing. There has only been bandages over the deep cuts and gashes.

Changeseeker said...

My sense is that it's even worse than that. The bandages cover poisons that have been systematically and meaningfully placed into the wounds by those with the power to define in this culture to keep the wounds festering. Then, they step back and say, "Hey...we applied a bandange...?"

Completely off-topic, if you haven't answered the "eight things about me" meme, Stephen, you have now been tagged. :^)

Stephen Bess said...

Change-
We're on the same page. I just didn't feel like writing a long response. Thank you for the clarification.

Crankyputz said...

There is so much left to strive for (I don't like the word fight.)

It shames me as a woman to know that a large portion of women wear a dark black veil.

Nina is one of my favorites, what a powerful voice.

Stephen Bess said...

Putz-
I like strive too. You're a peaceful one, huh? :) That's good. You've raised another important issue in your culture. Thanks for that.

The Esteemed Three said...

Peace to you brother:

We have not come a long way, I must disagree. Things have evolved somewhat - but the notion that we are any much further than where we were is false. Nonetheless, the perpetuation of such a notion is necessary so that we may remain subdued.

We have to maybe first fight for our psychological liberation and then all other freedoms that we see fit afterwards.

In unity...

Stephen Bess said...

Esteemed-
I agree. psychological liberation is definitely in order. It seems almost unrealistic when one takes a look at what's going on around us. However, everything must change. I just hope that there is change for the better.

Writer on Board said...

Nina. Change. Liberation. Peace. Freedom for all. Struggle. Yes.

amiamazing said...

thanks for the compliment...please visit again...I found an amazing new song by L-boogie...that you must listen to...click on the link..."I find it hard to say..."

Bygbaby said...

This is one of my favorite NS songs! In terms of what we are fighting for now, I say sanity because s many Black people are losing their minds.

Bygbaby

Cergie said...

This song and especially this sentence are very well known in France (don't let me be misunderstood. I find that it sounds so beautifully)

What have we to fight today ?
Illness. Poverty. Inequality in the world ?

Regardless of age or sex ?

Stephen Bess said...

Alex-
I like the way you put that.

Amia-
Thank you. I will check that out. I'll have to wait until I get home.

Bygbaby-
lol! That's funny, but it's not. So true. :) I always look forward to your comments. Peace~

Cergie-
Yes...or race. Then again, I like what Robert Sobukwe said. He said that the word "race" does not have a plural form. Thank you, Lucie!

NML said...

Thanks for sharing. It's not that people don't fight it's just that there are many more people that are apathetic about causes. On top of that, we just don't galvanise together for causes unless it's for a concert... You didn't see Martin Luther throwing a concert to drive change...

Stephen Bess said...

NML-
Very true. There was musical part to the March on Washington on that hot August day in 1963, but it was only to give musical tributes to the cause. The songs were political (Bob Dylan) and Spiritual (Mahalia Jackson). Thanks and good to see you.

Sugar said...

I haven't listened to the song, but I'm a big Nina Simone fan. This post was very short, but sweet and I think that you're right. It's amazing how things have sort of evolved over time. I think that while the war (Iraq) has divided the country on many fronts, its continuation is dividing us on others and this is a good time to unite for the greater good. Great post!

BronzeBuckaroo said...

Good post and very though provoking in every respect. I do believe things have changed a great deal, but I just don't think we are "there yet." But, there is always hope. ALWAYS HOPE!

fizzio brown said...

Just a quick stop by SB, this is one of my favourites from Nina Simone.
This is for me is very deep, especially at a time when I have to sit before a panel next week.
Have a good week.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I think most of the younger people today care less, especially the younger folks in the bigger societies. I think most are more concerned about their IPods, their computers, their 'things.'

It hurts, watching, listening to them go on and on about these 'things' while children, women, in less fortunate societies need so much help.

black feline said...

Im learning day by day...and your blog plays a part...the other day I heard The redemption Song by Bob Martley...."...emancipate ourselves from mental slavery"..

Rhiannon Giddens- "Julie"

Rhiannon Giddens' music is based on a collective number of slave narratives. This is an absolutely beautiful way to preserve the his...