The Crusader Newspaper Group

Nina Simone’s childhood home declared a ‘National Treasure’

By Michelle Darrisaw,

For decades, Nina Simone’s childhood home has sat in a state of disrepair. Today, the birthplace of the famed singer, pianist and civil rights icon received the honorary distinction of “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Born in 1933 as Eunice Waymon, Nina Simone grew up in a tiny wooden cottage in Tyron, North Carolina. It’s the same exact house where Simone learned how to play the piano and cultivate her voice, both in music and activism, particularly while coming of age during the Jim Crow era. However, after the legendary singer and her family moved to Philadelphia, the property slowly began to deteriorate.

As reported by the New York Times, the home suffered from a flaking ceiling, sloping floors and a compromised interior. The house was put up for sale in 2016, but many locals feared it would receive a demolition order long before a promising bid. But thanks to four Black visual artists’ commitment to preserving Simone’s legacy, the fixer-upper was purchased by Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher and Julie Mehretu in 2017 in order to raise public awareness of Simone’s numerous accomplishments.


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