Last night I finally watched the much anticipated Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? and I was reminded that some of the strongest visionaries, true geniuses can never fully, freely, exist in these bounds, in this space. It's really like they are from the future, running on another frequency, trapped. We're gifted with their magic while they often sacrifice a copacetic well being. This doc is a must watch and here are some of the jewels:
“What I was interested in was conveying an emotional message, which means using everything you’ve got inside you sometimes to barely make a note, or if you have to strain to sing, you sing. So sometimes I sound like gravel, and sometimes I sound like coffee and cream.”
“I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself. That to me is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?”
“I want to shake people up so bad that when they leave a nightclub where I performed, I just want them to be in pieces.”
“I want to go in that den of those elegant people, with their old ideas, smugness, and just drive them insane.”
"To me, American society is nothing but a cancer and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness."
And Ambassador Shabazz (the eldest daughter of Malcolm X) with some fierce words:
"As I got older, I started to look at her and I thought to myself, 'wow she's from another time.--- How does royalty stomp around in the mud and still walk with grace? Most people are afraid to be as honest as she lived—she was not at odds with the times. Times was at odds with her. If we were living in an environment that allowed us to be exactly who we are, you're always in congress with yourself. The challenge is how do we fit in in the world that we're around. Are we allowed to be exactly who we are?"