What Happened, Miss Simone? is an award-winning Netflix documentary about the life and career of Nina Simone. I recommend the documentary as an introduction to the life and music of Nina Simone. There might not be a lot of new info for people who are already fans. But, it might still be worth checking out just to hear Simone speak about herself and her career in her own words.
Noire Histoir Posts
At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle L. McGuire tells the story of Black women’s fight to obtain civil rights and equal legal protection against rape and sexual harassment. I recommend the book for a different perspective on Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a good jumping off point for learning about some of the less celebrated women of the Civil Rights Movement. While it doesn’t really directly discuss feminism or womanism it does touch on topics related to those ideologies.
Bessie is an HBO film starring Queen Latifah in an excellent portrayal of 1920’s blues legend Bessie Smith. The movie covers Bessie’s rise, fall, and comeback during the 1920’s — 1930’s with brief peeks back into her childhood. The movie is quite good due to the great performances and cinematography but the story itself is a bit lacking. It isn’t perfect but it’s still enjoyable and worth seeing. I recommend Bessie if you’re into music, a fan of any of the actors, or you’re just looking for a good movie to watch.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, weaves together the stories of three people who fled the South during The Great Migration. Ida Mae Brandon Gladney who migrated from Mississippi to Chicago in the 1930’s. George Swanson Starling who moved from Florida to Harlem in the 1940’s. And Robert Joseph Pershing Foster who relocated from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950’s.
The Corner by David Simon and Edward Burns is one of the most saddening and inspiring books I’ve ever read. The book follows the lives of residents near the corner of West Fayette and Monroe Streets in West Baltimore over the course of a year in the early 90’s. The authors lay bare how a history of poverty, crime, and drug addiction tore apart the neighborhood, families, and individuals.