Sunday, February 19, 2006

(Wo)man Blues

I am an old black man at heart, coughing through blues when I hum. Yesterday I got to watch the bluest, Nina Simone, in her movie shown as part of the African Diaspora Film Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It transported me and I suspect everyone in the theater to a performance hall in Paris in 1976 where Nina Simone created what is a "performance art piece". She sang Backlash Blues, evoked Langston Hughes, my favorite James Baldwin and Zora Hurston, and I was in heaven. She sang of Stars that fade way, go fast, go slow, and I could go coil myself into a ball and be lost. Her performance is sublime, even the movie of her performance is a gem, don't miss it.


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