Hi.

Neauxlamade is a safe space to freely express myself as I explore motherhood, the arts, and self-love. I share my journey through life, discuss current/hot topics, and much more.

Dear Miss Simone

Dear Miss Simone

Recently, a friend suggested that I watch "What Happened, Miss Simone?" This Netflix documentary about the boldly beautiful and incomparably talented Nina Simone focuses on how Nina found her love for music. As told in the documentary, music brought Miss Simone immense joy, an unequivocal escape, and unmatched pain. Her talent became her drug, helping her escape the rawness of the world while silently killing her spirit and the dreams she longed to obtain. Watching the documentary awakened memories within myself. Memories that helped me to both sympathize and empathize with Miss Simone. The words from Miss Simone that became embedded in my memory were, "I was unconsciously dealing with race that wasn't consciously on my mind, at all, until years later." During the Civil Rights Movement, Miss Simone wrote "Mississippi Goddam," which was written in 1964. "Keep on sayin' "go slow".... to do things gradually would bring more tragedy. Why don't you see it? Why don't you feel it? I don't know, I don't know. You don't have to live next to me, just give me my equality!" Five decades later, these words are still relevant to African Americans today. As I listened to her sing, my soul cried out, "What has the world come to?", but I was quickly reminded that this has always been. Nina Simone proved that intelligence and genius could be inspired by art and not just book smarts. Although impossible, if I could ever speak to Miss Simone, these are the words that I would say: 

Dear Miss Simone,

I too know how it feels to grow up dreaming. Dreaming of the life you will live and the path you will take to impact the world. I too understand rejection from a world you’ve grown to love. I too understand the feeling of isolation from your peers. The pressures of responsibility. The pressures that forces you to abandon your dream in order to obtain what the world views as responsible. I too understand forcing the smile and pretending to love the American Dream. I too understand how living with this mask forced you to hide the pain: the pain from breaking yourself to fit in the box that the world has placed you in. I too know the secrets. The things that go unsaid. The hurts that aren’t easily mended. I too remember the thought that life was too much to bear. The moments you felt you couldn’t go on. The issues that you didn’t face because facing them would diminish your strength. The strength of a black woman. I too remember loving a man more than loving myself. Because he brought stability and helped you to conform seamlessly. I too understand the unspoken abuse, the absence of desire, the lonely days. Longing for more but staying for what seems like forever because he makes you right with the world. He’s your muse. Handing you pain that you effortlessly formed into beautiful art. I too have the distinct, African features that cause the ignorant to hate me. I too remember the first time I became aware that I’m black and their white. Aware that it made me different, unvalued. I too feel the rage and pain that stems from this unwarranted hatred. I too use my voice to shout for change. To awaken the generation. I too know the sadness that comes from your peers blindly staying silent. I too want to incite violence but knows the need for peace. I too understand the depression from the strains of life. I too feel the need to escape, to only be guided by your happiness, and free from the pressures of the world. I too understand loving yourself and unapologetically living your truths. I too know that these truths doesn’t eradicate the demons you welcomed during your tough times. I too understand the conscience effort needed to live freely. And while I don’t know the feelings of manic depression or your bipolar disorder, I empathize with you. And I want you to know that, Miss Simone, while the open wounds destroy others, some of us eventually heal. We grow. We live free of mental health issues and uncontrollable bouts of rage. But it doesn’t change the fact that, I too understand.
— Neauxlamade

With no hesitation, I recommend that everyone takes time to watch the documentary or just spare a moment to listen to one of her many, moving songs. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. And to Alvin, thank you for inspiring, encouraging, and trusting me with this task.

One month down!! Forever to go....

One month down!! Forever to go....

For Every Girl and Boy.....

For Every Girl and Boy.....