The DC Voice

Oh to be Young, Gifted, and Black in America

The DC Voice likes to open Black History Month with the traditional Negro National Anthem- Lift Ev’ry Voice by James Weldon Johnson. Since then there have been other classics such as Black Pearl by Sonny Charles, Checkmates, Ltd., Say it Loud – I’m Black, and I’m Proud by James Brown, or Black Butterfly by Deniece Williams. However, Miss Nina Simone’s – To Be Young, Gifted, and Black is probably the modern era anthem. This post was originally published in February of  2016. It deserves a spot in our annual Black History Month recognition.


February 16, 2016

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The original body of work “To Be Young Gifted and Black,” a poem by Lorraine Hansberry. She then requested Nina Simone to sing the song.  Do the words still hold truth in 2016?

To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean

In the whole world you know
There are billion boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black,
And that’s a fact!

Young, gifted and black
We must begin to tell our young
There’s a world waiting for you
This is a quest that’s just begun

When you feel really low
Yeah, there’s a great truth you should know
When you’re young, gifted and black
Your soul’s intact

Young, gifted and black
How I long to know the truth
There are times when I look back
And I am haunted by my youth

Oh but my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say
To be young, gifted and black
Is where it’s at

Mindy Hill

Mindy Hill

Enjoys the Art of Living and Creating compelling content for years to come.

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July 2020

The walls and alleys in DC are adorned with colorful and interesting displays of the artistic, historic, and often colorful richness of the nation's capital. We feature these works of art as backgrounds for The DC Voice web site. Hopefully, it brings further recognition to those artists!

This month's image is one of my favorites and one of three that adorns North Capitol & Florida Avenues NW.

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