Daphne A. Brooks

  • Nina Simone performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, RI, July 4, 1968. Photo: David Redfern/ Getty Images.

    modern protest pop

    You don’t have to live next to me

    Just give me my equality

    —Nina Simone, “Mississippi Goddam”

    IF THERE’S A PLAYBOOK for modern protest pop music, it is usually culled from the images and tropes captured, thank goodness, with indelible clarity in photographs taken more than half a century ago in the Deep South and all across the US at lunch counters, in churches, on college campuses, and on picket lines as the second Reconstruction unfolded. Such images conjure the sounds of secular and sacred music emanating from the masses, from the we-shall-not-be-moved, Sly and the Family Stone “everyday