tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 24, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
06/24/15 06/24/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> and we are just going to forget, at least temporarily come about helping those workers that lose jobs because of decisions we make? how immoral is that? what the trail of those workers [captioning made possible by democracy now!] . despite warnings from labor environmental, and consumer groups, 13 democrats side with the republicans to move president obama one step closer to getting fast track authority to negotiate the controversial tpp, trans pacific partnership
deal. who will benefit from the deal? we will host a debate between public citizen and the cato institute. then we remember the high priestess of soul, nina simone. >> to promote this feeling of, who am i? where do i come from? why do i like me? ♪ amy: "what happened, miss simone?" a new documentary looks at the remarkable life of singer and civil rights activist nina simone known for her politically charged songs including, "mississippi goddamn" and "to be young, gifted and black." we will speak with filmmaker liz garbus and al schackman, nina simone's guitarist and music director for over 40 years. all that and more, coming up.
welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the senate is expected to vote today to give president obama fast-track authority to push the transpacific should deal through congress. the secretive deal involves 12 countries and nearly 40% of the global economy. on tuesday, the senate voted 60 the 37th in the debate on the measure, setting up today's final vote. bernie sanders blasted the move. >> in my view, this trade agreement will continue the policies of nafta, cafta agreements that have cost us millions of decent paying jobs. we need a new trade policy in america, a policy that represents working families and not just the big money interests. i strongly disagree with the majority leader who call this a great day for america.
it is not a great day. it is a great day for the big money interests not a great day for working families. amy: we will host a debate on the tpp after headlines. south carolina lawmakers voted overwhelmingly tuesday to consider removing the confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol in the wake of the massacre of nine african american churchgoers in charleston. the vote came as hundreds of protesters rallied against the flag, which was embraced by the white shooting suspect, dylann roof. charleston city council president j. elliott sumney was among those calling for the flag to go. >> in the lord don't want that flag flying on our state house grounds. it is time for the senate and the house to act. and if -- the word will be, we will be back, and we are going to keep coming back until that flag is down and put in a museum. it is time for south carolina to show the world who we are as a people. amy: slain pastor clementa
pinckey lie in state at the capitol today. it's unclear if the confederate flag will remain outside. this is a tweet of congress member james clyburn. he says -- phineas #take ititdown. meanwhile protests have spread , to other states. mississippi house speaker philip gunn called for removing the confederate emblem from the state flag, while virginia governor terry mcauliffe took steps to remove it from vanity license plates. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell boosted calls to remove confederate president jefferson davis' bust from the state capitol. companies including walmart, amazon, ebay, sears and etsy say they will then confederate flag products, and google said
it would remove the flag from its shopping service and ads. a new tally has confirmed white supremacists have killed far more people in the united states since 9/11 than muslim extremists. the report by the research center new america finds since 9/11, white supremacists antigovernment extremists and other non-muslim figures have killed nearly twice as many people as muslim extremists. despite the intense focus by the obama administration on muslim communities, non-muslim extremists have carried out 19 attacks since 9/11, while muslim -- while muslim extremists have carried out just seven. documents from edward snowden revealed how a drone shock was ordered in yemen to kill a doctor they believed was working with al qaeda in 2012. the documents reported by "the new york times" and guardian show how a joint u.s., british and australian program called overhead supported the strike.
officials believed the doctor was surgically implanting explosives and operatives. the news has raised questions about the extent of british involvement in the u.s. drone program. in northeastern nigeria, at least 42 people have been killed following attacks by boko from militants onto villages. the attacks monday and tuesday coincided with two deadly suicide bombings, one by a girl believed to be 12. the silver coin islamic state has destroyed two ancient shrines around the syrian city of my rep. pictures appeared to show the shrine being blown up and reduced to rubble. isil seized a 2000-year-old unesco heritage site in may. france has some at its u.s. ambassador following revelations by wikileaks united states has spied on the past three french presidents. documents published by wikileaks
show the national security agency spied on president hollande and his two predecessors from 2000 6-2012, including listening and recording cell phone conversations. the revelation follows prior disclosures by edward snowden the u.s. bugged german chancellor angela merkel's cell phone. greek prime minister alexis tsipras is meeting with european creditors today in brussels in a bid to avoid default at the end of the month. in a twitter post today, tsipras said some creditors have not accepted greece's latest proposals for aid, which include restricting early retirement and increasing sales tax and pension contributions. protesters have continued to call for the syriza party to end austerity. the u.s. will the ploy tanks and other weaponry across seven countries in eastern europe. speaking during a visit to estonia, the defense secretary ash carter said each set of equipment would be enough for
military company or battalion. >> we will temporarily stage one armored for did combat teams vehicle and associated equipment in countries in central and eastern europe. this pre-position european activity said includes tanks infantry fighting vehicles, and artillery. estonia, as well as with the when you latvia, bulgaria, romania, and poland have agreed to host elements of this equipment, which will be moved around the region for training and exercises. amy: the announcement comes a day after carter said the united states would send troops and equipment for a new nato rapid response force to guard against potential russian aggression. the united nations peacekeepers in the central african republic have been accused of sexually abusing street children in the capital bangui. u.n. spokesperson stephane
dujarric said the allegations are under investigation. >> medical care and assistance is now been provided to the alleged victims. if the allegations are substantiated, this would constitute a grave violation of u.s. principles and the code of conduct for the u.n. peacekeepers. the member states would be requested to take swift and appropriate punitive action. amy: the latest revelations come after an internal u.n. report surfaced in april detailing the alleged sexual abuse of children by french and african troops in the central african republic. the report was marked -- was leaked to french prosecutors by a u.n. whistleblower who was suspended, making him the only person so far to be punished over the sexual abuse allegations. the obama administration is poised to change its policy on private ransoms for hostages . while the u.s. will continue its policy of refusing to pay ransoms to groups like the self-proclaimed islamic state, it will stop threatening to prosecute families who raise private ransoms for their loved ones. the mother of u.s. journalist james foley, who was beheaded by isil last year, said the
government threatened prosecution if her family tried to raise his ransom. video has emerged showing hundreds of immigrant women and children being held at a private family detention center in texas. protesting during the tour of the facility by democratic lawmakers. footage shot by a congress member and posted by buzzfeed shows the women and children chanting "libertad" and holding protest signs made from pillowcases and bedsheets. meanwhile, a federal judge has authorities to return a woman and her 12-year-old daughter to the united states after they were deported on friday. the judge said he would have blocked the deportation if he had known it was going to happen. the pair were victims of domestic violence who had been held in a pennsylvania detention center for a year. in honduras, miguel facussé dubbed "the palm plantation owner of death," and one of honduras' wealthiest and most powerful figures, has died at the age of 90. facussé and private security
guards with his company, dinant, were accused of taking part in violent land grabs and dozens of murders of campesino land activists in honduras' aguan valley, as he sought to expand his palm oil fortune. u.s. diplomatic cables published by wikileaks showed the united states knew of facussé's role in cocaine trafficking, but continued funding honduras' military and police, who reportedly worked closely with facussé's guards. facussé backed the 2009 coup that ousted honduran president manuel zelaya. his personal airplane was used to fly foreign minister patricia rodas out of honduras against her will, a story rodas later told through a translator on democracy now! >> i was expelled from my country by the military. they came to my house. i was taken prisoner by the air force of honduras, and then
later, they deported me at midnight and translated me -- transferred me in the airplane. apparently, this airplane belonged to facusse. amy: in response to facussé's death, chuck kaufman of the alliance for global justice told colorado radio station kgnu -- "a prince of darkness has returned to hell." in argentina, the head of the military has resigned citing personal reasons. major general cesar milani was appointed head of the army in 2013 by president cristina fernandez to kirschner despite , charges he was involved in human rights abuses, including torture and the disappearance of a soldier, dating back to 1976 when argentina's military dictatorship came to power. here in new york, the stonewall inn, the site of an uprising that helped launch the modern lgbt movement, has been granted landmark status by the city's
commission. the stonewall uprising began the morning of june 28, 1969, when members of the gay community decided to fight back against a new york city police raid on the greenwich village gay bar. stacy lentz, co-owner of the stonewall inn, praised its new landmark status. >> on that particular night they had enough. it was the first time people stood up and said, we are queer were here, get used to it. they started throwing pennies. it was called a riot, but it was very peaceful for the most part. a few cars overturned and throwing things, but for the most part, people gathered for three days after that. the next year, there was actually the first lgbt -- amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the senate is expected to vote today to give president obama
fast-track trade negotiating authority to speed up new trade deals, including the tpp, the trans-pacific partnership. the secretive tpp deal involves 12 countries and nearly 40% of the global economy. on tuesday, the senate voted 60 to 37 to end debate on the measure setting up today's final , vote. president obama has made the tpp one of his top priorities in his final term, aligning himself with the republican leadership despite strong opposition to the , deal from some of his traditional allies including labor unions, environmentalists, and consumer groups. amy: in the end, 13 democrats sided with republicans to give obama the fast track authority. the 13 democrats are -- michael bennet of colorado, maria cantwell of washington, tom carper and chris coons of delaware, dianne feinstein of california, heidi heitkamp of north dakota, bill nelson of florida, tim kaine of virginia claire mccaskill of missouri patty murray of washington jeanne shaheen of new hampshire,
mark warner of virginia and ron wyden of oregon. five republicans voted against the fast track measure including two presidential candidates -- ted cruz of texas and rand paul of kentucky. the fast track legislation also covers negotiations over a second trade deal known as the transatlantic trade and investment partnership. on tuesday, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell praised the vote to move ahead on fast track. >> i also want to say to our colleagues, this is a very important day for our country. we have demonstrated we can work together on a bipartisan basis to achieve something that is extremely important for america. juan: speaking before the vote democratic senator sherrod brown of ohio warned the american worker would lose out if the tpp deal is signed. >> people are going to lose their jobs, but we are going to vote today to cut off debate and
we are just going to forget, at least temporarily, about helping those workers that lose jobs because of decisions we make? how immoral is that? how shameful is that? what a betrayal of those workers. what a betrayal we are inflicting on his workers if we make this decision today. a lot of my colleagues will go home and paste to bow say, wait, you made a decision and i got thrown out of a job because of a decision you made as a house member of because of a decision you made a decision senator because of a decision you make mr. president i was thrown out of work when you passed june 23, or whatever today is, you passed fast-track without taking care of me, even know it was your decision that i lose my job. amy: the debate on the tpp and fast-track we are joined by two , guests in washington, d.c. bill watson is a trade policy analyst at the cato institute and robert weissman is president of public citizen. robert weissman, your response
to the vote? >> it is celebration day at the u.s. chamber of commerce. big business just won his top priority for this u.s. congress. if the vote today, ultimately at least to adoption of the transpacific partnership -- we know with some high degree of certainty what will happen. we will lose many more jobs in the u.s., we will have real downward pressure on wages and an ongoing increase in the huge problem of inequality. we are going to see huge empowerment are big pharma and its ability to charge monopoly prices. the developing countries, but also in the united states. and we will see the creation and expansion of the special system that gives corporations the right to sue governments directly if those governments take action that the companies say infringe on their expected profits. it is a really horrible day for this country, notwithstanding what mitch mcconnell said. juan: bill watson of the cato institute, your reaction to the
impending now -- appears to be passage of the fast-track legislation? >> i am really looking forward to seeing the tpp be completed to find out what is in the agreement, and how well it liberalize his trade between the united states and the other 11 members in the agreement. the reduction of protectionist trade barriers is not going to be bad for the economy. that core element of the tpp is going to be good for consumers good for u.s. businesses, going to promote economic growth. juan: bill watson, is this agreement more about trade or deregulation? >> we will have to see when it is finished. there will certainly be a lot of trade in the agreement. and the question is, how well it reduces trade barriers and how quickly.
there will also be regulation. a lot of that regulation is stronger, labor, and environment provisions. also stronger ip protection and protection for investors. i think the correct calculus for the tpp is to look at the liberalization as a benefit and then see this regulation -- increase in regulation as a cost away against it. amy: robert weissman, how do we know what is in the tpp, the trade agreement? >> well, we don't really know much. we have models to look at. i all accounts this is a nafta-style agreement and follows the basic pattern the u.s. has adopted and similar agreements over the last 20 years. but the actual tax has been maintained public at the insistence of the u.s. government. a couple of chapters, couple of portions of the agreement have the three wikileaks so we are able to see -- three wikileaks, so we are able to see what the negotiation persons look like,
including intellectual property, which has to do with pat and monopolies for drug companies and copyright extensions and protections for hollywood and other copyright industries, as well as the so-called investment agreement, which really has to do with providing corporations special powers to sue governments in ways that are almost unfathomable to rig the people. amy: we are going to go to break and come back with this discussion. robert weissman, president of public citizen. bill watson is a trade policy analyst at the cato institute, a -- cato institute. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
amy: nina simone. after our debate on the tpp, we will be joined by liz garbus talking about this remarkable new film, "what happened, miss simone?" stay with us for that. i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez, this is democracy now! juan: i would like to ask robert weissman, you are mentioning before the break, the connection to nafta in this tpp.
i would like you to comment on this issue -- we have had now the last two democratic presidents come a bill clinton, who is the guy who pushed through nafta and now barack obama here pushing through tpp basically achieving for corporate america, perhaps its most desired legislation through congress and basically steamrolling through the democratic constituency of labor, the environment list your hosts to these kinds of deals. >> it is heartbreaking. in a way, it is more devastating this time that it was with no clinton. at least the clinton administration people could say they did not have a nafta before to look at but now we have 20 years of experience with nafta and we know a lot about what these trade agreements do. i think -- by the way, the
american people are overwhelmingly opposed to the agreement, not just these constituency organizations. they are opposed, specially because they understand the impact of nafta because they have seen it in a community seen factories close and they understand how the threat of a factory closing her job moving overseas diminishes the bargaining power and reduces their wages. so why this a administration would choose to replicate and expand that model is very, very hard to understand. i think it has to do a lot with the people who have surrounded the president, people who come from wall street. i think it has a lot to do with a long investment of big business, especially in washington d.c. and think tanks and advocacy groups who have created a sense, which is confined to the beltway that serious people believe in so it misnamed, free trade. and that the people outside of d.c. who overwhelmingly oppose these kinds of agreements don't understand because they are not serious. i just think that point of view,
unfortunately, was internalized by the president who spent more political capital, more personal capital on this issue than anything he has done in the administration with the possible exception of the affordable care act. it is really disappointing and disgraceful. amy: this is bernie sanders from vermont, speaking tuesday on the senate floor. >> in my view, this trade agreement will continue the policies of nafta, cafta permanent normal trade relations with china, agreements that have cost us millions of decent paying jobs. we need a new trade policy in america a policy that represents working families and not just big money interests. i strongly disagree with the majority leader who call this a great day for america. it is not a great day. it is a great day for the big money interests, not a great day for working families. amy: and mrs. proponent -- and this is her opponent, hillary
clinton, describing what she believes needs to be done in order to reach a deal on the tpp. >> let me start by saying, no president would be a tougher negotiator on behalf of of american workers, either with our trading partners or republicans on capitol hill, then i would be. [applause] in my time it eight years in the senate, i voted for some trade agreements and i voted against others. i think of a pretty good idea of what we can do to meet the test that i believe any trade agreement, especially tpp, must meet. it needs to protect american workers and number two, it needs to raise wages and create good jobs at home. number three, needs to be in our national security interests.
i have been saying that for months. amy: that is hillary clinton in iowa. we are joined by robert weissman and bill watson. bill we hear bernie sanders, he is adamantly opposed to the tpp but you are for the tpp. do you feel hillary clinton ultimately would support your position? >> i cannot speak for hillary clinton at the end of the day. i certainly do think the tpp, to the extent it liberalize his trade, is going to increase wages. it is going to improve the economy of the united states. by opening markets to exports the tpp will help create jobs. i opening up access to imports the tpp will help create jobs. most of the imports that come to this country are used by american manufacturers. it will increase productivity and wages and promote growth.
i think for the criteria that hillary clinton set out, the tpp will most likely be a good deal. juan: what about the issue, bill watson that robert weissman was mentioning, the ability of corporations to be able -- to object to particular government regulations and more international dispute methods promoted by tpp? >> there is no cap the tpp is going to include what is called investor state dispute settlement. and there's a lot of legitimate controversy over exactly how those rules should be shaped. there's also a lot of hyperbole about how that is ask a going to affect u.s. regulations. there are a lot of bilateral investment treaties already out there. we have not seen the destruction of democracy that people seem to think is going to come from this, but that doesn't mean there is a lot of room for reform. at the end of the day when you see the tpp and how it addresses
the issue of investment, that is something to weigh against other parts of the agreement. amy: robert weissman, how do what happened on the senate floor yesterday happened? explain what is happening the house and the senate the revolt of the democrats in the house but interestingly by nancy pelosi, close ally of president obama, but then to turn around for a number of democrats. who changed, how did it happen? >> well, fast track has been through congress through an unusually complicated process. it first went through the senate where it had to be combined with some other measures to win enough democratic support. then it moved to the house where this measures that have been included in the senate proved impossible to get past. and lead to the defeat of fast-track the first vote in the house.
so then the republican leadership said, well, we will strip it out and do a straight up vote on fast-track, and were able to craft a very, very narrow majority that came back to the senate and the senators who had already voted for fast-track with other measures included, the democratic senators who but of course fast-track with other measures included most of them or all of them really, except with one exception, then carter decided they would vote for fast-track as a stand-alone measure, even though many of them had set in the first place, that their vote for fast-track was contingent on conclusion of these other measures, which include a modest program to provide assistance to workers who were laid off as a result of tpp and other trade agreements. it is a really complicated process for the short version is, there was massive opposition to this. that is what explains it. even of the chamber of commerce and big business wanted this and it was at the top of their wish list even of the president spent more political capital on
this than anything, even of the republican leadership was trying to drive it through, it failed. they failed the first time in the senate and the first time in a house with the benefit of being in power and being powerful by corporate america is, you get more than one chance and they kept trying and trying and eventually they were able to randy deal through. juan: rob weissman, this is basically what gives the president not only obama, but the next president, six years of fast-track authority so they could also negotiate a transatlantic deal. we are talking about authority to negotiate a deal that hasn't even begun to be formulated yet. >> it would give president obama and the next president whoever he or she is, authority to negotiate the transpacific partnership to negotiate a potentially conclude the agreement that is now under
negotiation with europe, the ttip, which includes many of the same measures but other additional problematic answers as the tpp and would give -- concluded as the u.s. want, as the obama administration wants would give 25,000 european subsidiaries right to challenge our domestic laws and it would also give the president and the next president authority to negotiate deals that are not yet even under consideration. with fast-track, all of these deals must still be passed by the house and the senate but it is much easier to get them passed that it would be without fast-track and congress has now given up or will i today, given up its authority to have any meaningful influence over the terms of those negotiations. amy: rob weissman and bill watson, thank you for being with us from public citizen and trade policy analyst from the cato institute. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: alabama has gotten so
upset, tennessee made me lose my rest and everybody knows about mississippi goddamn. those were the words needed simone wrote five decades ago. pianist.she fused elements of going four black children in the >> ♪ hound dogs on my trail school children sitting in jail black cat cross my path i think everyday's gonna be my last lord, have mercy on this land of mine we all gonna get it in due time i don't belong here, i don't belong there i've even stopped believing in prayer
don't tell me, i tell you me and my people just about due i've been there so i know they keep on saying, "go slow!" amy: in us alone --nina simone. as the black lives matter movement grows across the country and the nation mourns the death of the nine worshipers killed last week at emanuel ame church in charleston. while nina simone died in 2003 new documentary sheds light on the music and politics of the singer known as the high priestess of soul. the documentary, "what happened miss simone?", opens today in new york and los angeles and releases on netflix on friday. this is the film's trailer. >> i think the only way to tell
who i am these days is to sing a song. start from the beginning. >> my mother was one of the greatest entertainers of all times. ♪ >> when she was performing, she was an anomaly. she was brilliant. she was loved. ♪ >> the one and only nina simone. >> her voice was totally different from anybody else. how is she doing this? >> though, that's the same when i heard last week postop x people think when she went on stage, she became nina simone. my mother was nina simone.
and that is where it became a problem. everything fell apart. she was a revolutionary. she found a purpose for the stage. >> i choose to reflect the times and situation in which i find myself. how can you be an artist and not reflect the times? >> there was something eating at her. >> when the show ended, she was alone. >> i have to live with nina, and that is difficult. >> she was fighting demons. she could get violent. the change was unlucky switch. >> as fragile, she was strong and vulnerable and dynamic. most people are afraid to be this honest. >> i had a couple of times on stage when i really felt crazed.
>> nina simone. >> nina simone. >> nina simone. >> she was brilliant. but she paid the price. amy: that was the trailer for the new documentary, "what happened, miss simone?" to talk more about nina simone's life and work, we're joined now by two guests. from martha's vineyard in massachusetts, al schackman joins us. he was nina simone's guitarist and music director for over 40 years. and here in new york, we're joined by filmmaker liz garbus. her film was nominated for an academy award. her new film "what happened "what happened, miss simone?" , which opens today in theaters in new york and los angeles, and releases on netflix on friday. welcome both to democracy now! this is an epic film that comes at such a critical time. first, start with the title
"what happened, miss simone?" >> it derives from an article maya angelou wrote in 1970 for redbook. nina had been with the patron saint of the rebellion and was a leader in the movement. after the murders calamity of her colleagues and compatriots -- she had had enough. she'd had enough of america and she left. the article, the question was, where issue? where are these voices. what happened to nina? so the film kind of uses that as a frame to unravel how we understand nina simone's career her art, her commitments. juan: why did you decide to make this film and can you talk about some of the archival footage you are able to put together in it? >> in my view, nina simone was one of the greatest artist of the 20th century, right up there
with miles davis, james brown, bob dylan and possibly because of race and gender, and accommodation of the two at her case and not being regarded that way. especially in the u.s., where i think she been overlooked and certainly misunderstood, as her song intimates. so we were able, with the permission of the estate get a really, really deep dive into nina, not just the concert and promotions, which make up the heart of the film, but private tapes of nina talking about her life, 30, 40 hours of that diaries, letters notes and suffer most intimate friends and family members interviews. >> give us a thumbnail biography of nina simone, if you can. her life spans years, both in the public eye and outside of the public eye. but she wasn't born nina simone.
>> she was born eunice wann withon. her mother was religious. when she was about six years old, some white folks in the community thought, maybe we have a prodigy on our hands here. they took up a collection to get her a classical music education. from that age, she started crossing the railroad tracks to the home does the woman schooled her in the classics. she was extraordinarily talented. they raised money conduct to get her to juilliard in new york and her dream was to become the first black classical pianist in carnegie hall. after one year to juilliard, she applied to the curtis institute and she did not get in. the money ran out. this is when she became nina
simone. she -- her parents moved up north to be around her. she started playing in bars and clubs. she was singing what her family considered to be the devil's music. so she changed her name to nina simone so it would go underneath her mother's radar. one night in a bar they said if you want to make money, you better sing. that is when nina simone began singing. this was never the intended path for her career. throughout her life, she lived to age 70, she lamented that she did not get to explore that classical path to its fullest. but of course, she also found great joy and triumph and her involvement with the civil rights movement, which then also led to her deepest disappointments. amy: and before that, why she did not pursue the classical music, she went to juilliard but then tried to get into curtis school of music and philadelphia. >> that's right. and she did not get acceptance. it would have been paid for.
once that was taken away from her, she could not continue that education. amy: why was it taken away? >> in her view, it was because of race. curtis institute deny that. and there were very, very few black students that have been accepted to curtis. it was the 1950's. certainly, we imagine it played a role. amy: we want to get to the civil rights years and also in addition to speaking to liz garbus with the academy award nominated film maker, we want to speak with al schackman, nina simone's guitarist and music director for over 40 years. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
today in theaters in new york and los angeles and on netflix on friday. and we are joined by al schackman, nina simone's guitarist and music to over 40 years. he is joining us from martha's vineyard. juan: al schackman, i want to bring you into the conversation. talk about how you first met nina simone and how you developed your collaboration that lasted over so many decades. >> good morning. i met nina in 1957 in the art community, village of new hope, pennsylvania. i was playing with my treo in a restaurant and nina was playing at the bucks county playhouse inn. some friends of hers had visited from philadelphia and were having dinner and thought it might be a good idea for the two of us to get together. they asked her and she agreed, and on a night off, i went down with my guitar and cap and set
up and she was on a break. i just was ready to play with her and she came on stage never looked at me or tell me what she was going to play. we both had perfect pitch. she started her introduction to a bach piece. i came in with a third part. she started singing "little girl blue" and then she looked at me and we were off and running from there. amy: 40 years. i want you to tell us the story of her meeting dr. king, but liz garbus, give us the civil rights years. it started before that meeting nina's a month relationship with what was going on in this country. >> nina was pursuing a career that -- "i love you porgy" was a smash hit.
filling the role that people handed to her, which was the jazz singer. in 1963 after the church bombing -- amy: in birmingham. >> she changed course. she wrote "mississippi goddam." she changed course and her career and said, right now permission and her passion was to make music that would help her people. so she continued to make some of the great anthems of the civil rights movement young, gifted, and black, backlash blues, old jim crow. she continued "mississippi
goddam." she hung out with -- she was part of the circle of activist black intellectuals and she had quite a political awakening. she and al went to the selma march together. you can talk about that. juan: al, you are not exactly a stranger to the civil rights movement or the great artist of the time. you also played with a bellefonte as well as. can you talk about how you juggle that and your involvement in the civil rights movement? >> yes nina was not performing regularly. i had the opportunity to go on with me belafonte on the fund-raising tours with martin luther king. we would fly to different cities
and we were in europe with them as well. it was a great opportunity to be able to get next to martin and really feel his -- the spirit of where he was coming from. and that is what america came to see as well. amy: tell us about nina and martin luther king meeting for the first time. where were you all? what happened? >> we were at a fundraiser and we approached martin and he put his hand out. before anything else could happen, she and a very strong voice, looked at him and said i'm not nonviolent. and he said, oh, that is ok sister, you don't have to be. he put his hand out and they shake hands and it was a very warm meeting after that. juan: and the events of selma?
>> we were playing at the village gate in new york and we flew down with nina's husband andy stroud and were going to land in montgomery. we could not land and we flew over the runway and it was filled with trash trucks, garbage trucks come all kinds of equipment. the governor of alabama had put out so we could not land. we eventually landed in jackson, mississippi and chartered a single engine plane we were kind of heavy in the no scare one up in the air like that in the pilot said well, we cannot take off like that. we switched seats. and he moved forward with my amplifier and the plane settled down and we took off and landed on a small runway in montgomery and had to go through alabama
national guard to get to the stage. the soccer field of the seminary. the stage had a little curtain around it. i looked it up to see if i could plug my camp in and saw the stage was built on coffins that were supplied by the black mortuaries in montgomery. it was pretty chilling. to see that. amy: nina simone was due -- deeply affected by dr. king's death. >> she was. she espoused probably a slightly different political doctrine then he, yet -- when you listen to her song "the king of love is dead" you can see how much your broker. her colleagues said, when white america killed dr. king, they killed the best chance for peace.
and for healing. after the massacre in charleston and what is happening, perhaps that was true. juan: in the 70's, she goes into self-imposed exile, goes to africa and europe. >> her nomadic years. after leaving the stage, she led more of a nomadic life. she goes to the caribbean for a while and then library a -- liberia. she did not want to sing. she wanted to be out of the business for a while. but she also realized she had to eat and she went back to switzerland. she goes to the jazz festival and gets quite an infamous performance. she is clearly -- and a great tool turmoil, doesn't want to be at a jazz festival, but must be there. the pmo draws her. she loves the piano, but it
became quite a burden for her as well. she ultimately settles in france and holland and amongst friends and seeks, with the help of her friend al and other friends gets mental health treatment. as we see in her dryer he does barry and her friends, she reportedly suffered from depression. amy: i want to play a few clips from this astounding film. let's go to, "what happened, miss simone?" >> need to promote this feeling. where does it come from? do i really like me? why do i like me ech? ♪
amy: nina simone singing. let's go to another clip of "what happened, miss simone?" >> it is my first album, the very first album we made in this world, which is at least 25 years old. i wish i was -- would have been as wise than as i have become now. ♪ amy: in this clip from the film "what happened, miss simone?" we hear from nina simone's daughter who lives in paris, france now, and as a performer. her name is lisa simone. >> my mother was one of the greatest entertainers of all times.
but she paid a huge price. people seem to think when she went out on stage, that was when she became nina simone. my mother was nina simone 24/7 and that is where it became a problem. >> ♪ amy: that was nina simone singing as well as her daughter lisa simone kelly who is performing in paris, france now. liz garbus where does she live? >> she is living in the home her mother passed away and in the south of france.
after a career in the military lisa simone kelly was in the air force for 11 years, kind of doing -- getting as far away i think her parents as possible, giving -- the now she is gone full circle and is pursuing a career of music herself. juan: you look at the film not only at her work and music, but her personal life and the trials she went through, the very abusive relationships she had with her longtime husband. can you talk about that as well? >> sure. of course, al was witnessed a lot of violence. she married a man who was a police officer who then retired from the police force to manage nina simone. the husband-manager thing has never worked out well for artists over time. indeed, for them, it was fraught with both violence, pressure,
different goals. when nina became involved in the civil rights movement, the commercial side of her career suffered. that became an issue between them, and other antagonist between them in their marriage. at their marriage was complicated. his daughter said, a little bit like inviting the bull with a red cape and your kitchen. nina wrote in her diaries, "i love physical violence." there was part of for that clearly engaged in this with her husband. it was quite accomplished relationship that we did not want to oversimplify because we do see nina's perspective on it. amy: al schackman, you lived it up close. you are with nina simone for over 40 years. if you could describe -- well, you have the deterioration of nina's mental health, but also wanting to sing the songs in the civil rights movement and what it meant commercially. you are her guitarist. you were her music director. >> her songs were threatening at
the time, and the popular powers that be in the music industry were afraid to bring her on to any projects or record deals after a while. the political undertones were always there. in "mississippi goddam" as the song says, you don't have to live next to me, just give us our equality. nina was very strong about that. that and women's rights as well. she was really a pioneer in her political views really forced
her out of the united states at the time. juan:l, your fondest memories of your time with nina simone went you are out of the public limelight, when you are just the two of you together, what do you recall? >> very gentle, very quiet, we kind of had a telepathic communication as we did in the music. she was fun-loving and very gentle. our best times were alone. actually, our best times musically or when it was just she and i. we had nothing in the way of this curator musical interaction. one time when we were alone in holland, she said, let's go for a drive. i said, where? she said, i will show you. we drove miles out into the countryside and now we are on a dirt road and she says, turn right. we see some sights and we come
up to them and it was an airfield. and i said, what are we doing? it was a glider field. she said, we are going up. she knew everybody there and she loved to go up in gliders and do sell planing and up we went. we are circling around and she is baloney and another glider and she waves up with a big smile and eye way back at her and she was at peace. it was really amazing. amy: in the last 15 seconds, what you hope to do with this film, liz? >> i think nina is a model of how an entertainer inspires and engages politically. i think today she is a voice we need sorely and i think for other artists and celebrities today, kind of looking to get involved in the movement nina simone did it and inspired people and she never compromised. liz garbus amy: and al schackman