It was 1964 and sitting at the piano at Carnegie Hall, she sang a show tune for a show that hadn’t begun yet: “Alabama gotten me so upset. Tennessee made me lose my rest. Everybody know about Mississippi, Goddam!” That song referenced the 1964 murder of 3 young freedom civil right workers registering voters in Neshoba County, Mississippi. President Lyndon B. Johnson and civil rights activists used the outrage over the activists' deaths to gain passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, which President Johnson signed on August 6, 1965.
Four years later, at the Hampton Jazz Festival, after the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, she again enlightened an audience with “What will we do, now that the King is dead?" Her name, Nina Simone, North Carolina’s own native daughter.
PRESENTER: Sauuda Eshe has been a storyteller, vocalist, cultural artist, mentor, and youth advocate for over forty years. She is co-founder of Circle Of Real People (C.O.R.P) Dance and Mime Troupe, co-founder of the Rocky Mount Juneteenth Celebration, and she penned and anthem for the historic town of Princeville. Following her presentation, there will be a discussion and questions to help re-enact the killing of Chaney, Goodman and Schwartz.
The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. This year’s theme for the African American Lecture Series is “The Year of the Woman – She Changed the World” and will highlight struggles and accomplishments from women in artistic, cultural, and educational advancement.
Presenters will include visual artists, educators, historians, reenactors, storytellers, singers, dramatists, and dancers.