Young, Gifted, and Black | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Young, Gifted, and Black

Concourse Gallery
Gallery Exhibition
Text on an image reading "Young, Gifted & Black (MCAD's Black Artist Collective Student Exhibition)"

Opening reception (in conjunction with Excursion), Friday, September 8, 6:00-8:00 p.m.


“Young, gifted and Black

Oh what a lovely precious dream”


Inspired by the 1969 song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” by Nina Simone, MCAD’s Black Artist Collective celebrates the joy of Blackness and the many ways it is realized through art and design.


“We must begin to tell our young

There's a world waiting for you

Yours is the quest that's just begun”


Simone’s music made her the voice of a generation. A leader of the Civil Rights movement in the face of segregation, discrimination, hate, and violence, Simone channeled her emotions into music that captured the beauty, rage, and pride in identity that still resonate today. Inspired by friend and fellow creative Lorraine Hansberry, writer of A Raisin In The Sun (1957), Simone used the phrase “to be young, gifted, and Black”, to create a song with a simple message to uplift generations; becoming one of the most powerful anthems of the Black Pride movement of the 1970s.


“Yeah, there's a great truth that you should know

When you're young, gifted and Black

Your soul's intact”


Written to make Black children across the world feel good about themselves forever, her lyrics serve as a reminder of the power of community, fellowship, and the endless potential of the next generation of Black creatives. A timeless tribute to Black excellence, her words allow us to remember how far we have come, and how far we still need to go, and the power creativity has to change the world. 


“To be young, gifted, and Black

Is where it’s at”

Nina Simone “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black”, 1969


Gallery Visitor Information

The MCAD Gallery is open to the public during the following hours:

Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. 

All visitors must enter through the north (main) entrance, sign in at the welcome desk in the main lobby, and stay in designated areas. For more information or any disability accommodations, please contact MCAD Gallery staff at 612.874.3367 or

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