Aretha Franklin—Musical Genius, Truth Teller, Freedom Fighter

Accolades have been pouring forth since the announcement of Aretha Franklin’s death on August 16, 2018.   Farah Jasmine Griffin wrote in The Nation about Franklin’s support for Angela Davis, when she was arrested in 1970.  She also wrote the following: “This is what we hear in Aretha’s voice. Truth. It is a voice that contains the spiritual and the field holler, the blues moan, gospel shout, and jazz improvisation. It is neither timid nor coy. It is sensually grounded and spiritually transcendent and completely lacking in contradiction. She excels at any form she tries, including opera. Aretha’s voice is America at its best. It also transcends national boundaries, invoking the West African cultures that gave birth to diasporic musical practices; it appeals to a global audience who appreciates her sound.”  To read the complete essay, click here.

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