Nina Simone sings Black is the colour of my true love’s hair. By Emile Latimer.

Nina Simone  NinaSimoneNB1

Photos by Jack Robinson. Robinsonarchive.com

“Mississippi Goddam”. Beautiful. Painful. Nina Simone’s blazing anger is something to behold.

“Don’t tell me, I tell YOU. Me and my people just about due…”
“Just give me my equality…”

Time for reparations for black people brought to the Americas as slaves. Redlined. Jim Crowed. Separated -but “equal”. Discriminatory public housing policy. School to jail pipe line. Hands up and shot.

“Mississippi Goddam”

The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it
Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi GoddamAlabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi GoddamCan’t you see it
Can’t you feel it
It’s all in the air
I can’t stand the pressure much longer
Somebody say a prayer

Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

This is a show tune
But the show hasn’t been written for it, yet

Hound dogs on my trail
School children sitting in jail
Black cat cross my path
I think every day’s gonna be my last

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong there
I’ve even stopped believing in prayer

Don’t tell me
I tell you
Me and my people just about due
I’ve been there so I know
They keep on saying “Go slow!”

But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Washing the windows
“do it slow”
Picking the cotton
“do it slow”
You’re just plain rotten
“do it slow”
You’re too damn lazy
“do it slow”
The thinking’s crazy
“do it slow”
Where am I going
What am I doing
I don’t know
I don’t know

Just try to do your very best
Stand up be counted with all the rest
For everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

you thought I was kiddin’

Nina+Simone-02
Picket lines
School boy cots
They try to say it’s a communist plot
All I want is equality
for my sister my brother my people and meYes you lied to me all these years
You told me to wash and clean my ears
And talk real fine just like a lady
And you’d stop calling me Sister SadieOh but this whole country is full of lies
You’re all gonna die and die like flies
I don’t trust you any more
You keep on saying “Go slow!”
“Go slow!”But that’s just the trouble
“do it slow”
Desegregation
“do it slow”
Mass participation
“do it slow”
Reunification
“do it slow”
Do things gradually
“do it slow”
But bring more tragedy
“do it slow”
Why don’t you see it
Why don’t you feel it
I don’t know
I don’t know

You don’t have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Everybody knows about Mississippi
Everybody knows about Alabama
Everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

That’s it!

This recording was made in 1965 in the Netherlands. Mississippi Goddam!

Read MORE: http://jennymcphee.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/all-the-women-are-white-all-the-blacks-are-men-but-some-of-us-are-brave-on-the-legacy-of-black-women-entertainers-my-latest-column-at-bookslut/

And so gorgeous (written by Emile Latime)r: “Black is The Color of My True Love’s Hair”

Track #5 on the album To Be Free. Written by Latimer, Emile.

Nina Simone didn’t write the song, but gave it voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWmCbEbMmeU

Black is the color of my true love’s hair
His face so soft and wondrous fair
The purest eyes and the strongest hands
I love the ground on where he stands
Black is the color of my true love’s hair
Of my true love’s hair

Oh, I love my lover and well he knows
Yes, I love the ground on where he goes
And still I hope that the time will come
When he and I will be as one
Black is the color of my true love’s hair

 

 

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James Baldwin- poet!!!

Lord,
            when you send the rain,
            think about it, please,
            a little?
     Do
            not get carried away
            by the sound of falling water,
            the marvelous light
            on the falling water.
        I
            am beneath that water.
            It falls with great force
            and the light
Blinds
            me to the light.
                   — Untitled

Bits of time and sound by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond. A poet hidden and then almost lost!

Image

Beautiful!

[…]

I am the rails on which the moment passes,
The megaphone for many words and voices:
I am the graph diagram,
Composite face.

[…]

I am the man they call the nation’s backbone,
Who am boneless – playable castgut, pliable clay:
The Man they label Little lest one day
I dare to grow.

I am the led, the easily-fed,
The tool, the not-quite-fool,
The would-be-safe-and-sound,
The uncomplaining, bound,
The dust fine-ground,
Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round

Arthur Seymour John Tessimond

And in the correct order:

The Man In The Bowler Hat

I am the unnoticed, the unnoticable man:
The man who sat on your right in the morning train:
The man who looked through like a windowpane:
The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting
Morning pipe smoke.
I am the man too busy with a living to live,
Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch:
The man who is patient too long and obeys too much
And wishes too softly and seldom.

I am the man they call the nation’s backbone,
Who am boneless – playable castgut, pliable clay:
The Man they label Little lest one day
I dare to grow.

I am the rails on which the moment passes,
The megaphone for many words and voices:
I am the graph diagram,
Composite face.

I am the led, the easily-fed,
The tool, the not-quite-fool,
The would-be-safe-and-sound,
The uncomplaining, bound,
The dust fine-ground,
Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round

 

http://vimeo.com/70885550 a radio recording of himself reading a poem.

http://thefilter.blogs.com/thefilter/asj_tessimond/

 

In Canterbury Cathedral

Trees, but straighter than birches, rise to the sky
Of stone. Their branches meet in the sky of stone.
Stone fountains leap and meet: their traceries are
As light as lace. These prayers of stone were prayed
To a God I can’t believe in, but were made
By Man, men almost gods, in whom I can
Believe: were made as strong, to last as long
As time. I stare and pray to Man alone.

 

[…] leave as your final legacy
A box double-locked by the spider
Packed with your unsolved problems

‘The Children Look at the Parents’

Poems about the body: African-American poet, Yusef Komunyakaa.

Image

Poems about the body: African-American poet, Yusef Komunyakaa.

[…]
I love my crooked feet
shaped by vanity & work
shoes made to outlast
belief. The hardness
coupling milk it can’t
fashion. I love the lips,
salt & honeycomb on the tongue.
The hair holding off rain
& snow. The white moons
on my fingernails. I love
how everything begs
blood into song & prayer
inside an egg. A ghost
hums through my bones
like Pan’s midnight flute
shaping internal laws
beside a troubled river.
I love this body
made to weather the storm
in the brain, raised
out of the deep smell
of fish & water hyacinth,
out of rapture & the first
regret. I love my big hands.
I love it clear down to the soft
quick motor of each breath,
the liver’s ten kinds of desire
& the kidney’s lust for sugar.
This skin, this sac of dung
& joy, this spleen floating
like a compass needle inside
nighttime, always divining
West Africa’s dusty horizon.
I love the birthmark
posed like a fighting cock
on my right shoulder blade.
I love this body, this
solo & ragtime jubilee
behind the left nipple,
because I know I was born
to wear out at least
one hundred angels.