Aretha Franklin is being remembered as a civil rights icon as well as the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin
Afroze Fatima Zaidi

Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died at her home in Detroit, Michigan on 16 August. The media and fans have flooded the internet with tributes since the news broke.

“Black people will be free”

Franklin isn’t just being remembered for her music, though; she’s also being commemorated for her dedication to civil rights:

Franklin grew up being influenced by her father – the Reverend C. L. Franklin. In 1963, he led a march of around 125,000 people alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Detroit.

In 1970, Franklin went against her father to publicly support Black Power activist Angela Davis when she was arrested. In a statement of support for Davis, Franklin famously said:

Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up for disturbing the peace in Detroit and I know when you can’t get no peace.

“A freedom fighter”

Channel 4 News posted a video tribute to Franklin, with a tweet stating: “Aretha Franklin was not just the Queen of Soul – she was a freedom fighter”. The video also mentions how Franklin sang for free to support the civil rights movement, and how she refused to perform at segregated concerts:

Staying true to her beliefs, Franklin reportedly refused to perform for Donald Trump following his presidential win:

Cartoonists and artists alike have paid their tributes to the Queen:

Aretha Franklin’s music, personality, and conviction have left an everlasting impression on the world in which we live. In the digital age, with old music and historic events increasingly immortalised online, Franklin’s legacy is sure to live on through the ages.

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Featured image via Atlantic Records – Wikimedia

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