Location:Home > slippers > after which one man required medical treatment. North Shore mum Tina Talaic tells us the reaction a

after which one man required medical treatment. North Shore mum Tina Talaic tells us the reaction a

Time:2018-08-20 02:49Shoes websites Click:

business sport Technology Weather Tr

Aretha Franklin didn't just teach our kids how to spell RESPECT – she teaches them its meaning

JONATHAN MILNE

Last updated 05:00, August 19 2018

Flowers and pictures are placed on Aretha Franklin's star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ / AP

Flowers and pictures are placed on Aretha Franklin's star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

OPINION: "Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me." Just repeat those words to yourself. Knowing how Aretha Franklin sung them, they send a chill down the spine. 

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T." Feel the powers of those letters, spoken out loud. If Coca-Cola taught the world to sing, Aretha taught the world to spell.

The Detroit preacher Rev Clarence L Franklin rained brimstone with his sermons, so fiery that they were recorded and sold on vinyl in music stores. But his daughter used the gutbucket power of her words and voice to promise new hope.

Aretha Franklin used the gutbucket power of her words and voice to promise new hope.

GETTY

Aretha Franklin used the gutbucket power of her words and voice to promise new hope.

Rev Franklin and his daughters travelled the south, sleeping in their car because hotels would not give rooms to Black American people, having to buy food from the back door of restaurant kitchens because they weren't allowed in the front – but always spreading The Word.

READ MORE:
* Kiwi musicians celebrate the 'Queen of Soul'
* Company fined for 'my little Injun' harassment
* Fonterra worker fired for serious misconduct

And the word was made flesh, and the word was Respect. Black Americans were inspired by Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, but Aretha Franklin went further: she empowered them with Respect.

That's according to Evelyn C White, a respected African American writer who has who has tracked Franklin's career for fifty years. This weekend, she tells me she has no doubt of Franklin's unparalleled influence in the American civil rights movement.

In 1970, Franklin offered to post bail for activist Angela Davis, jailed on trumped-up murder charges. Franklin said: "I've been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can't get no peace."

The used her concerts to raise money for the civil rights campaign. She supported food programmes in impoverished Detroit. And the stayed in Detroit. 

White says: "I grew up in Gary, Indiana, and knew Michael Jackson since he was a child. And the Jacksons left and move to LA when fame and fortune came. Aretha Franklin had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world and I think the fact that she stayed in Detroit was very affirming in terms of the identity of blacks in that city."

Ad Feedback

In 1980, White was so determined to meet the woman who had made her feel important, that she blagged her way backstage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Not just any blag: she told security she was Yolanda King, daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr.

Black Americans were inspired by Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, but Aretha Franklin went further: she ...

MARIO SURIANI / AP

Black Americans were inspired by Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, but Aretha Franklin went further: she empowered them with Respect.

"I considered myself as a product of the civil rights movement and so a figurative daughter of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement.

"So the security guy actually took us up on the stage, so we watched the entire concert from on the stage at Radio City Music Hall – which was not that good because we were in the back. We would have better off in our seats. I was so blissed out, and with a bit of champagne, that I didn't care.

Copyright infringement? Click Here!