March 2, 2016

The High Priestess of Soul: Nina Simone

Nina Simone
Simone was and remains an incredibly powerful figure for black social justice and is a personal heroine of mine. She *is* the High Priestess of Soul to millions of black people.

So, what must be done with a film about Simone in the zeitgeist of unapologetic blackness?!

It must be watered down, her appearance questionable to those whose lives her work is a soundtrack to, simultaneously made palatable for consumption outside her circle of influence.

The selection of actress Zoe Saldana and promotion decisions were careful and suggests what this film will offer upon release on March 31. The actress in black face adds a separate layer to the conversation.

Any erasure of the intensity of Simone's radicalism functions to buttresses the structural policies and systemic practices that support and perpetuate anti-blackness.

The affect of this "biopic" on generations of black youth unacquainted with Simone's oeuvre, activism, and love of blackness could prove crippling.

#NinaSimome #BioPic #ZoeSaldana #DavidOyelowo #EalingStudiosEnterprisesLimited

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