Nina Simone’s Iconic Protest Song “Mississippi Goddam” is the Subject of a New Documentary

Marking 60 years after the song was first unveiled

Universal’s official site reports that Mercury Studios has released a new mini-documentary offering insight into the history of Nina Simone’s iconic protest anthem “Mississippi Goddam.”

The report notes that the documentary takes a look at Nina Simone’s “unapologetic spirit and her unwavering stance against social injustice, taking viewers on a journey through her powerful music and enduring legacy.”

The documentary arrives 60 years after the song was recorded during one of Simone’s seminal Carnegie Hall performances and is narrated by Tarriona “Tank” Ball of the world-class soul group Tank and the Bangas.

The documentary also features animated visuals and archival footage, interspersed with an interview conducted with hip-hop legend Rapsody.

The track was recorded during one of her three Carnegie Performances, which were then collected and released as part of Nina Simone In Concert. That album will be reissued by Verve as a special 60th Anniversary Acoustic Sounds edition later in 2024.

On the live album, Nina Simone saves “Mississippi Goddamn” as her triumphant finale, which she describes as a show tune (“but they haven’t written the show yet”). It fearlessly addresses some of the infamous racially motivated killings of 1963, of Medgar Evers in Mississippi and at the Alabama Church Bombings.

The album was recorded in New York in March and April 1964, when Simone was 31 years old and had been recording for some six years. She had given her first concerts at the famous venue a year earlier, captured on an album release towards the end of her time on the Colpix label.

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