Nikki Giovanni Talks Nina Simone: ‘If Nina Were Here, She’d Have Her Black Lives Matter [T-shirt] On’

Nikki Giovanni opens up to The Root about her good friend and what her position would be on today's civil rights movement.

Nikki Giovanni
By Amber McKynzie · July 22, 2016

Nina Simone’s name has lived in media headlines since the release of her Ealing Studios Entertainment biopic, Nina. While the film itself received mixed reviews, no one has ever questioned Nina Simone’s influence or power. But fans aren’t the only ones reveling in the late singer’s legend. 

Nikki Giovanni, activist and friend of Simone, recently sat down with The Root and remembered her good friend’s passion, integrity and commitment to change. 

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Giovanni’s in-depth interview detailed her friendship with Simone, which started on “125th and Seventh [in Harlem].” 

Quickly recalling Nina’s passion for civil rights and the need to be involved, Nikki comments on the Black Lives Matter movement and where her friend would be if she were here to see the movement today.

“I am of the generation of segregation. Black Lives Matter is post,” says Giovanni. “I said today, and I will say all the time, ‘If Nina were here, she’d have her Black Lives Matter [T-shirt] on.’ I think they’re great kids. They don’t need me or anybody else to tell them what to do. I like what they’re doing. I think they’re doing a good job, and I know that a lot of people are upset by them. These are great young men and women, and they’re bold, and they are saying to America, ‘Something’s going to change.’ I’m very proud of them.”

Read Nikki Giovanni’s entire interview here.

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