January 12, 2024

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Honoring Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement, and its Soundtrack

The Selma Marches: March 7-25, 1965


Civil rights marchers rest along the route from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. in March 1965. Photo by Peter Pettus. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

By Matt Silver

In March 1965, beaten and bloodied, civil rights leaders and ordinary citizens persisted in marching from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery. Even after being turned away not once, but twice—first by physical force, then by the legal force of a federal injunction. 

Nina Simone’s ’Nuff Said! Offers ‘Some Kind of Something’ on This and Every MLK Day

Nina Simone took the stage at Wetsbury Music Fair on Long Island in April 1968, three days after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

By Matt Silver

Over the last several years, America has had to reckon with issues of race, class, civil rights, opportunity, and dignity in a way it hasn’t since Nina Simone first sang protest songs.

Perhaps as a byproduct of the moment, there’s been a resurgence of both popular and critical interest in Simone, the High Priestess of Soul and a civil rights icon. That’s why, on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’m compelled to revisit Nina Simone’s ’Nuff Said!