In this special edition of the “In My Time Machine” series, I present Nina Simone’s Four Women off of her 1966 album Wild Is The Wind, and a version performed by Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek) off their album Train of Thought released in 2000.
This classic song highlights four African-American female archetypes to highlight the injustice in society. The first archetype, Aunt Sarah, represents African-American enslavement. She is the stereotypical black matriarch who endures so much pain and strife, but is “strong enough to take the pain that is inflicted again and again,” which is representative of her resilience. The second archetype, Safronia, who is mixed and because of that is not fully accepted by either African-Americans or Caucasians, “Between two worlds I do belong.” The third archetype, Sweet Thing, a prostitute who represents the sexual stereotype, she finds acceptance unfortunately only because of her ability to provide sexual gratification. The final archetype, Peaches, represents the stereotypical “angry black woman,” but for good reason given the generational oppression and suffering endured by her people.
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek created a phenomenal rendition of Nina Simone’s original song. The song is a hidden track at the end of the album as part of “Expansion Outro.” Needless to say, they did the original song justice so it’s only right I include it with the original.
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