Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Named A National Treasure By National Trust
The still indomitable Nina Simone will be honored by the National Trust as her childhood home in Tyron, N.C. will be named a national treasure.
Nina Simone is truly one of my great inspirations in life. Through grace, beauty, hard work, and perseverance she became an integral part of spreading the Civil Rights Movement across the country through her music and activism. Originally from Tyron, North Carolina, the home where Nina learned how to play the piano was named a National Treasure by the National Trust today.
Recently purchased by four black artists to maintain Simone’s legacy, this now-vacant yet nationally significant property serves as an ever-existing legacy connected to Nina Simone and her impact on black excellence. This campaign is backed through the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, an initiative with the Ford Foundation and actress Phylicia Rashad to “uplift stories of African American achievement, activism, and community.”
“Nina Simone’s distinctive voice and social critique in the mid-20th century was unlike anything America had ever heard before,” said Stephanie Meeks, president, and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “And while her musical and social justice legacy burns bright, her childhood home has been neglected. We’re delighted to work with the home’s new owners and the local community to chart a new future for the property that will honor her tremendous contributions to American society and inspire new generations of artists and activists to engage with her legacy.”
Born Eunice Waymon in 1933, she would hone her skills, debut as Nina Simone on the world stage, and continued to fight for black people—a theme that would deeply inform her music and political activism. In 2016, the three-room, 660-square foot clapboard pier and beam house had fallen in disrepair and was put on the market. Painter Adam Pendleton, sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, the collagist and filmmaker Ellen Gallagher, and the abstract painter Julie Mehretu—purchased the property the following year.
With the dedication to her home taking place today, the people in Tyron, North Carolina—and interested parties—can take a guided tour of the home and see a free live concert.
Look at images from the announcement below: