- This event has passed.
‘Rather Than Her Biography’: Listening to Nina Simone’s Diary
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States + Google Map
“If we can draw out the emphasis on the female vocalist’s art, rather than her biographies,” critic Hortense Spillers once wrote. “Then we gather from the singer that power and control maintain an ontological edge. Whatever luck or misfortune the Player has dealt her, she is, in the moment of performance, the primary subject of her own invention.” Considering Spillers’s provocative claim, Professor Salamishah Tillet will look at Civil Rights musician Nina Simone’s diary (and her friendship with the writer Lorraine Hansberry) and discuss the tensions and possibilities that arise as she writes about Simone’s inner life, while also exploring Simone’s ongoing intellectual influence on American culture.
Salamishah Tillet is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Africana Studies and Creative Writing at Rutgers University, Newark, and the 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning contributing critic-at-large at the New York Times. She is the director of Express Newark, a center for socially engaged art and design art at Rutgers, and the author of Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination and, most recently, In Search of the Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece.