Learn about the intersection of art and social activism through a discussion of the music of Nina Simone and the photography of Steve Schapiro. Singer Nina Simone was known for her music and activism. Photographer Steve Schapiro tells stories of activism through his bold, documentary images. Artists from Northlight Theatre’s upcoming show Nina Simone: Four Women, and experts on the work of Steve Schapiro will discuss how Schapiro and Simone’s work defied norms in the civil rights movement and beyond. Activists and Icons: The Photographs of Steve Shapiro is currently on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
About Nina Simone: Legendary performer Nina Simone sang a mix of jazz, blues and folk music in the 1950s and ’60s, later enjoying a career resurgence in the ’80s. By the mid-1960s, Simone became known as the voice of the Civil Rights Movement. She wrote “Mississippi Goddam” in response to the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers and the Birmingham church bombing that killed four young African-American girls. (This is the basis and inspiration for Northlight’s play Nina Simone: Four Women.) She also penned “Four Women,” chronicling the complex histories of a quartet of African-American female figures, and “Young, Gifted and Black,” borrowing the title of a play by Hansberry, which became a popular anthem. After the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, Simone’s bassist Greg Taylor penned “Why (The King of Love Is Dead),” which was performed by the singer and her band at the Westbury Music Festival.
About Steve Schapiro: Renowned Chicago-based photographer Steve Schapiro has given history a human face throughout his career as a widely published photographer for Life, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and numerous other publications. The Activists and Icons exhibit displays Schapiro’s intimate perspective on the civil rights movement, as well as vivid portraits of celebrities including David Bowie and Jackie Kennedy, who used their influence to challenge—and change—our cultural norms.
Free and Open to the Public
at Skokie Public Library
5215 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077
Calendar for Arts & Activism: From Nina Simone to Steve Schapiro