New Writer Welcome: Nia Simone

Please join the COA family in welcoming our newest writer, Nia Simone! Nia’s bio will be available shortly on our About page. Subscribe to COA so you don’t miss her upcoming debut piece ‘Here Comes the Sun.’

Q: Your name seems either to be an homage, or a real giant coincidence. Nina Simone was a talented, outspoken, incomparable figure in her time. And a legend in ours. What sort of influence has she had on you?

I like to call her my kinda-sorta-maybe namesake. If Kwanzaa didn’t have a principle named “Nia”, I probably would have been named after her. She’s dope; she’s the ultimate innovator. One thing that I’ve learned from her is how to have the courage to be yourself in a world that would rather you fit into a mold of what an “acceptable” woman should be. Even though she dealt with a lot of self-hate and racial discrimination, she eventually grew to who she was destined to be and was dedicated to living her truth. I’m dedicated to that as well; living my truth. I hope that one day I’ll influence a girl that had the same insecurities I had to have that epiphany; that it’s okay to accept themselves. I just hope that one day they’ll do her biopic right because she deserves to have her story told the right way.
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Lights in the Fog

The fog outside is so thick. I stare out at it as though staring at it long enough will make it go away. I long to see the stars that are surely shining down already, way up above the clouds. Last night I saw them. I walked out of town, walked and walked until I came to a farmer’s field, when I stepped off the path and started out through the frost-laden dead ends of corn stalks and soft dirt. Someone passing on a bike laughed as I crunched my first few steps, then they were gone and I was alone. I was invisible in the darkness with only stars and moon above. The moon hides tonight, blanketed in the fog. Is she tired of showing her beauty? I should excuse her, but her rest makes me restless. It can be lonely living an ocean away from my family and most close friends, especially in the darkest hours of the winter, but lights in the sky connect us anywhere in the world.

Lethargically I dress for a run. Although the sun set two hours ago, I haven’t been outside yet today. It’ll be cold I’m sure, but I don’t know how much yet. I strap on a headlamp over my hat, just in case, and take a deep breath before opening the door.

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