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Four Women

Black History Month


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Black History Month – Four Women – The Power of Jazz

“Four Women” was first recorded by Nina Simone on her album Wild is the Wind in 1965. The song tells the story of four African-American women, each verse representing a different women’s experience in America. The first character is named Aunt Sarah who is a representative of the times of slavery and Nina focuses on her strength in the face the long term suffering endured. The second character is names Saffronia and is a woman of mixed race and identity and focuses on the experience of black Americans being at the will of white people in power. The third woman is named Sweet Thing, who is a prostitute that is able to find acceptance from both black and white people alike. Though her acceptance by white men is based on the sexual gratification she provides them. The last woman is named Peaches and most likely reflects Nina Simone herself. Peaches is a product of generations of racism and oppression and is filled with bitterness and rage.

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

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

My skin is tan
My hair is 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 too 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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