Quad Cities Campus

I am inspired by:

Nina Simone

Nina Simone (1933-2003)

Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) was a composer, pianist, Jazz and R&B singer, lyricist, and civil rights activist. She was considered one of the most powerful artists of the twentieth century, who gave voice to not just the struggles of black people in America, but also to her own struggles with domestic abuse and mental illness. It was only a few years ago that I first listened to Nina Simone, and I have found myself profoundly influenced by her music, voice, and commentary. The song “Feeling Good” never fails to illuminate the world’s beauty to me, while her song “Stars” reminds me that not all those who engage in arduous toil find any peace or happiness. Simone once noted that “You can't help it. An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.” She was a major voice against the violent racism throughout the 1960s, she sang and spoke against the society which allowed segregation to exist. Simone left a lasting legacy on the world of activism and music. She sang to share Truth, and her works still remain impactful, due to her ability to articulate the sublime nature of love, power, and artistry into each individual song she wrote and performed.

Zachary Almquist
Zachary Almquist

Graduate Student in English
WIU-Quad Cities

Nina Simone

There's no excuse for the young people not knowing who the heroes and heroines are or were.

~ Nina Simone