In the song “Young Gifted and Black” by Aretha Franklin, it talks about the life of a young black girl who expressed her gratitude to Jesus for making her who she was. She gives an illustration of the plight of millions of other black people by telling them that the whole world is waiting for them to spread their wings because they are gifted with talent, spirit and values. The song talks about race because it was during that time amidst all the hardships that young people encounter, they rely on Jesus to save them from their troubles. The lyrics of the song impart the message to the audience that racism lies in the hands of a manipulative society who wants to control the world. Here, the song writer wanted to emphasize on the hardships of young black people experienced during that time. It was a song that empowered the black race because it reminded the youth to keep their soul intact, with Jesus as their savior and continue to face life’s challenges. The song writer also used simile to present the resilience of the youth who belong to the black race in the lines “Jesus, gifted and you black and your plan, your heart is all that is needed.” By reading this line, it gives the audience the message that the youth should remain strong despite their age and immaturity. The song helps gender relations because it empowers both young men and women during that time by motivating their self-worth. It also reminds the youth that there are many boys and girls who are young gifted and black, unified by motivation, who is Jesus Christ, their souls will be solid and incorrigible. The song depicts gratitude from the Jesus, and telling them to treasure the gift of being black because a pure heart is all that is needed to survive in this world.
Douglas, Susan. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. USA: Crown Publishing, 1995. Print.