Nina Simone Talks Fashion, Blackness, and Survival In This 'Lost' Interview From 1968

In Depth

In the newest installment of their Blank on Blank series, in which “lost” interviews with celebrated artists are animated and set to music, PBS has chosen a 1968 chat between Nina Simone and renowned jazz singer and radio host Lilian Terry.

The interview, as PBS notes, was a tough sell (Simone “didn’t enjoy speaking with white people”), but after being introduced to Terry by drummer Max Roach, the two wound up at Nina’s New York home, where they “sat by the pool” and talked about everything from Broadway musicals to racial violence.

Near the end of their discussion, Terry asks Simone if she thinks her daughter, who was five at the time, would be “living through the revolutionary years.”

Says Simone:

I don’t know, love. Whatever it is she’s going to have pride in her own blackness. She’s going to have a chance to be more than just somebody who’s on the outside looking in. Like it’s been for most of us, and my parents before me, but she may see more bloodshed than I’ve ever even dreamed of. I have no way of knowing. That evolution…The cycle goes round, and round. It’s time for us.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin