Mississippi Goddamn (Nina Simone Tribute)
The very first in a line of designs honoring extraordinary women, this Nina Simone tee is a collab between Salt + Sorcery and America Hates Us. The typographic design that reads, "I ain't bout to be non violent honey" is printed on a heavyweight, garment dyed, soft washed pocket tee (the same pocket tee used in all other S+S designs).
The description below was written by AHUS:
Mississippi Goddam, written by Nina Simone, was released in 1964 and quickly became an anthem during the civil rights movement.
The song was in response to the murders of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers and the four Black children bombed in a church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Simone, in her own words said, “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times,” and she did so passionately even if her career was in jeopardy. The song would ultimately be banned in several southern states and the music industry punished her mightily, boycotting her records.
Nonetheless, Ms. Simone continued signing “Mississippi Goddam”. And on Sunday, April 7, 1968, at the Westbury Music Fair (NY), Nina sang MG again, three days after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.
Staying true to form on reflecting the times, Ms. Simone amended the lyrics at one point and replaced “Tennessee” with “Memphis” (where King was murdered). Additionally, she ad libs in between versus (3:02 mark) and retorts, “The King is dead. The King of Love is dead,” in reference to MLK.
Immediately following those words, and the inspiration behind this design, is, “I Ain’t Bout to Be Nonviolent, Honey”, which perfectly encapsulated Ms. Simone’s and millions of other Black American’s feelings at the time. Fed up. Fed up with a country that never kept its promises, refused to pay its debts, and continued to kill Black leaders with impunity.
Being non-violent could not save King and Ms. Simone made certain the world knew where she stood.
In 2021, we are still fed up. We recognize violence, often, is the only means for the oppressed to get the attention of the oppressor. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed,” (MLK). And that vandalism of property is often more highlighted than loss of Black life. “Who is looting whom? Grabbing off the TV set? He doesn’t really want the TV set. He’s saying screw you…. After all, you’re accusing a captive population who has been robbed of everything of looting. I think it’s obscene,” (James Baldwin).
*ALL SALES ARE FINAL*