Nina Simone: Constructing a Legacy

Tom Maxwell
10 min readJul 3, 2020
Nina Simone’s statue in Tryon, North Carolina

There’s a bronze statue of a Black woman in downtown Tryon, North Carolina. Her likeness bears the same expression the subject often wore in life: a kind of fixed, half resigned, half-exasperated glare. The statue sits in a small town square, its hands poised over an undulating keyboard. In its bronze heart sits half of Nina Simone’s ashes.

Tom Maxwell

Tom‘s work has appeared in Longreads, The Oxford American, Bitter Southerner, Slate, Salon, and Southern Cultures, among others. He usually writes about music.