Aretha Franklin: Demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T for All



Aretha Franklin, nicknamed the Queen of Soul, died in August 2018.

Maggie Kutz, Writer

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, created powerful anthems that have inspired people for generations.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942, her talent was evident from a  young age, and she never let anything prevent her from achieving her dreams. Her early career began when she was 14, releasing a gospel album that she had recorded in her father’s church. As her career began to rise, it reached a halt when she became a teenage mother. After taking a brief hiatus, she moved to New York, switching to different record labels until she found that one that would best display her talent.

Her music became a symbol for black women empowerment. She committed herself to civil rights activism and became a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. Her most well-known song, “Respect,” became an anthem for the causse.

An incredible social justice activist, Franklin performed at Martin Luther King Jr. rallies and even offered to post bail for activist Angela Davis when she was imprisoned.

Franklin provided a voice for a generation silenced by discrimination and inspired them to demand respect and equal rights. Her powerful vocals reflect the inspiration and faith she has provided for generations. Her voice holds the truth that every person should be treated with dignity.

Winning 18 Grammys and becoming the first woman to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, her talent transcends time, race, nations and politics.

Regarding her fame, she once stated, “Being the Queen is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people and your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions.”

She is a powerful icon of music history and the Civil Rights Movement whose music will continue to inspire dreamers for generations.