The interviewer asks Nina Simone the meaning of Freedom – she begins by saying its like being in love – you know it when you feel it but you cant describe it. Then in a moment of revelation she declares
I’ll tell you what freedom is to me! No Fear! like a new way of seeing
Possibly not realising that moments before she had declared her own freedom when she states
“I wanna go in that den of those elegant people with their old ideas, smugness and just drive them insane… I want to get a show, a real show thats calculated from the beginning where I haven’t sacrificed any of my principles “
Freedom to me is having no fear but its also being afraid, seeing beyond the fear and doing it anyway. When I give in to my fears, I am distressed,, its like loosing control and being at effect of others.
Nina Simone sings about feelings in this autographical rendition of Stars. As always she has the audience in the palm of her hands including stopping her song to demand one of them “Sit Down”! The song is full of stories from her life, all our lives. Stories of loneliness, stories of lust for power and fame, of pain of betrayals, of pretense. Some make it young before the world gets to do its dirty job. Some may make it when they’re old only to be told to move out of the way…
These are the stories we love to recite knowing deep down we never owned the names we gave ourselves or others gave to us. Most of all it’s about Nina’s life as she lived it
“The worst thing about that kind of prejudice… is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds your self-doubt. You start thinking, perhaps I am not good enough.”
Yes. And, on top of that, I sometimes feel that I can’t talk about that self-doubt because it will make me look weak to those attempting to create it, shatter the perception that I’m strong enough to take it, and make the people who look to me as an example think less of me. I know this is all in my head. And yet.