"Being black means being beautiful. It also means struggles, and it also means pain. And every black woman knows of that struggle, that pain…There is so much we need to find. Like more purpose in life, and more self-love. That must come first. It certainly had to come first for me." Aretha Franklin, Esquire, 1973

“Franklin covers (and vivifies) Paul McCartney and Elton John, not to mention Nina Simone’s title song, an anthem of the civil rights movement, and she sings the self-written hits “Day Dreaming” and "Rock Steady” with calm certainty, guided only by the spirit.” Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2020)

"Young, Gifted and Black is an immortal masterwork that speaks to our souls as well as our hearts. In the embattled political and social climate we reside in now, its love and spirit still reflect our own and demand us to keep growing beyond our swaying perceptions. Just as Franklin envisioned in 1972, this is truth music at its finest, and it sounds as rewarding now as it did fifty years ago."