To Be Young, Gifted and Black  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"To Be Young, Gifted and Black" is a song by Nina Simone with lyrics by Weldon Irvine. It was written in memory of Simone's late friend Lorraine Hansberry, author of the play Raisin in the Sun. The song was originally recorded by Simone for her 1970 album Black Gold; released as a single, it became a Top Ten R&B hit and a Civil Rights anthem.

Notable cover versions of the song were recorded by Donny Hathaway (on his 1970 album Everything Is Everything), Aretha Franklin (on her 1972 album Young, Gifted and Black) and Bob and Marcia (whose 1970 recording reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart). The Jamaican rocksteady/reggae trio The Heptones, recorded a version for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label in 1970.

Elton John recorded a version of "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" prior to his solo success. Intended to be released as a low budget sound-alike version of the original, it was later reissued on the compilation album Covers as Sung by Elton John.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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