The 10 Best Nina Simone Quotes

Nina Simone was a legendary singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist who was known for her powerful voice and timeless contribution to music. Her quotes are just as powerful and thought-provoking as her craft. These quotes reflect her strong beliefs on equality, freedom, and the role of art in society.

From her thoughts on the beauty of black people to her plea for equality, Simone’s words inspire us to think critically about the world around us and strive for change.

Nina Simone’s quotes reveal her deep understanding of jazz, racial issues, and the importance of speaking up. They show how her thoughts and insights are still meaningful today.

Here are 10 powerful quotes from Nina Simone to keep in mind:

  1. “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.”
  2. “What kept me sane was knowing that things would change, and it was a question of keeping myself together until they did.”
  3. “Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking.”
  4. “At this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved.”
  5. “I believe in racial memory too. I’m sure I’ve got ancient African blood in me that has something to do with what I am.”
  6. “Life is short. People are not easy to know. They’re not easy to know, so if you don’t tell them how you feel, you’re not going to get anywhere, I feel.”
  7. “I’m a real rebel with a cause.”
  8. “To me, we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world. Black people. And I mean that in every sense.”
  9. “You don’t have to live next to me / Just give me my equality.”
  10. “I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.”


Aiming for equality, freedom, and the role of art in society are the highlights of Nina Simone’s quotes. They remind us that change is possible and that it’s important to stay informed about the world around us.

Her thoughts on jazz as a way of life, racial memory, rebellion, and the beauty and strength of the black community are a powerful reminder of the significance of social justice. Her legacy and message continue to inspire and motivate those who strive to empower and advocate for the black community.

Image Source:

By Ron Kroon for AnefoRestored by Bammesk – This file was derived from: Portret van de Amerikaanse zangeres Nina Simone die met kerst op televisie zal v, Bestanddeelnr 918-5601 – restoration.jpgOriginal by: National Archives of the Netherlands,, CC0,
By Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By Jose Galvez, Los Angeles Times –, CC BY-SA 4.0,