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Nina Simone – “Four Women”

Simplistic and direct. Those are the words I would use to describe Nina Simone’s Four Women. I’m not sure but for some reason today this song popped in my head. I think I heard it over at Alexyss K. Tylor‘s radio show recently but I can’t recall exactly.  Either way I’ve always had a strong connection to this song because I know all these women intimately as most Blacks do.

They are our mothers, aunts, and sisters. They are the strong Black women who are everywhere from the shanty towns of Bahai to the project housing of Queensbridge.

This song makes me realize I have four women of my own I need to call.

My skin is black, my arms are long
My hair is woolly, my back is strong
Strong enough to take the pain, inflicted again and again
What do they call me? My name is aunt Sarah
My name is aunt Sarah, aunt Sarah

My skin is yellow, my hair is long
Between two worlds I do belong
But my father was rich and white
He forced my mother late one night
And what do they call me?
My name is Saffronia, my name is Saffronia

My skin is tan, my hair fine
My hips invite you, my mouth like wine
Whose little girl am I? Anyone who has money to buy
What do they call me? My name is Sweet Thing
My name is Sweet Thing

My skin is brown, my manner is tough
I’ll kill the first mother I see, my life has been rough
I’m awfully bitter these days, because my parents were slaves
What do they call me? My name is Peaches

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