National News

Singer, activist Nina Simone's childhood home to be preserved

Posted June 20, 2018 2:22 p.m. EDT

— The dilapidated wooden cottage in North Carolina that was the birthplace of singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone now has the protection of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The trust said in a news release Tuesday that it will develop and find a new use for the house in Tryon where Simone was born in 1933. Last year, four African-American artists purchased the home.

Simone's sister spoke at the ceremony and said her sister would have been proud of the honor.

"It's great to know that she's made such an impact. They still want to carry that forward for younger generations and ones after that," Frances Wayman Fox said. "She was young, gifted, and black. She was proud of heritage. She was proud of her blackness. She let that be known, and that is a good thing."

National Trust President and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Meeks says the trust will work with the home's new owners and the community to honor Simone's contributions to society and to "inspire new generations of artists and activists."

The three-room, 660-square-foot (60-square-meter) home went on the market in 2016.

Simone's original name was Eunice Waymon. She died in 2003 at the age of 70. She was a leader in pushing for civil rights and influenced the likes of Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin.