videos of artists i love. in honor of Black History Month

Nina Simone. One of my all-time favorites. She is vital, true, formidable. Her voice… that piano playing… those words…. damn. She speaks to my soul and leaves me speechless.


Josephine Baker. The incomparable. Her story is fascinating.
(this documentary is just under and hour, and worth every minute.)


BB King. This is classic BB, plus a glimpse into the times and feeling of the day. (i believe this was filmed at Sing Sing prison in 1972.)


Billie Holiday. Oh that voice… the sadness and the depth. She kills me.
(i’ve shared one of her songs here before.)


Miles Davis. And John Coltrane.
I don’t even know where I’d be without ‘Kind of Blue’.


Katherine Dunham. The dancer who brought the spirit and culture of Haiti to the US. Here she talks about segregation at one of her shows (and her reaction to it).


Marvin Gaye. love love love. This video isn’t live footage of him performing, but it tells it. (for an awesome live audio version go here.)


Zora Neale Hurston. Spunky badass of my heart. (i’ve written a little about her here and here.) Apparently she took this footage, so that must be her voice in the background. (omg her voice! i love her all the more.)


This is a high-energy dance performance of Lindy Hop (swing dance) from the 30s. I dare you to watch without smiling.


There are so many more videos I could share, but I’ll keep it to my favorite number of nine.


UPDATE: Since I published this post I’ve become aware of my own biases. When I think of Black History Month I mostly only consider Black history in the US. (and maybe also Haiti, because I love Haiti). But of course, all of the Americas were effected by the slave trade, and have been hugely influenced by African culture. Here are 15 movies recommended by Remezcla that speak to the intersection of African heritage throughout Latin America.



One thought on “videos of artists i love. in honor of Black History Month

  1. Wow! that was a wild assortment. I saw the Josephine Baker one years ago and was happy to see it again 😉
    And I loved the lindy hop one. Some of the others made me real glad I got this white outfit this time around.


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