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Life, Soul, and Revolution: Celebrating the Timelessness of Nina Simone

Jasmyne K. Rogers|ForHarriet   in  ·
June 2, 2015

A beautiful cultural movement brewed in the wake of the world’s overwhelming ugliness. The longstanding physical and ideological concept of “blackness” transformed and shifted into a new and growing love, passion, respect, and power for being black, especially a black woman.

The Black is Beautiful cultural movement contrived an awakening for society in the 1960s—a movement started in South Africa that fueled the change and challenged the perception of black beauty. The movement soon heightened and became a catalyst for change in America after the Civil Rights movement had ended. The Black is Beautiful cultural movement also aligned with the brewing Black Power movement. In the late 1960s, black people proclaimed their blackness unapologetically.

Beautiful and vibrant colors from the motherland adorned their skin as they proudly exclaimed, “Black is beautiful! ”and “Black power!” Their hair was their own—natural and free. Their minds were their own. Their lives were their own. They found beauty and power in the alleged ugliness and inferiority that society and media outlets manipulated as blackness. The music back then gave rise to social change. The music was revolutionary. Music was and still remains one of the most instrumental platforms to dismantle society’s perceptions and misconceived notions of blackness.

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