In 1970, Robert Nemiroff published a compilation of writings, correspondence, and interviews as a tribute to his former wife, the late Lorraine Hansberry, noted playwright and author of A Raisin in the Sun. He titled the work To Be Young, Gifted, and Black: Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words.
Last night, October 14, 2010, at the Miss Shaw University Coronation 2010/2011, our Shaw students would have made Lorraine Hansberry proud. Through monologues, dance, vocals, fashion, and music, they demonstrated that they have earned their place among the illustrious ranks of those who are truly “young, gifted, and black.”
Of special note was our new “queen,” Tyisha Wills, a talented student crowned as Miss Shaw University. She displayed poise, incredible intellect, a gifted voice, and compassion and caring as she shared her own invocation entitled “1865, The Legacy Begins.”
As Shaw’s new president, I must admit this was my first coronation and this will be my first homecoming event. After last night, I am even more convinced of why Shaw University must continue to thrive—to give the “young, gifted, and black” students of our great institution, the state, the nation, and the world ample opportunity to spread their wings and soar on the winds of their own talent.
© Irma McClaurin and Shaw University