Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

'It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me'


The other night we sat down to watch "What Happened, Miss Simone," a new documentary on Netflix about the life and career of the great Nina Simone. It's a powerful film, showcasing Simone's unique talent and complicated life, and I highly recommend it. Those who may have been too young back in the '60s to fully grasp the racial tensions and contradictions of that era -- far more profound and unsettling than our own -- may find it particularly eye-opening.

But most of all, it's about the music. The volcanic emotions churning inside Simone -- born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, N.C. -- find unique and gut-busting expression in her classical piano training and her immense vocal instrument. She really was something to see and hear.

Here's a song written by Simone in one of her all-too-rare moments of optimism, and even that is tinged with a sense of impending doom and sadness:


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.