Aretha Franklin’s voice was a pure, painful, and unforgettable expression of American history and American feeling, the collective experience of black Americans and her own life. The Queen of Soul was the daughter of the most influential black pastor in Detroit, a charismatic, often cruel man who filled the house with musical friends—Duke Ellington, Della Reese, Nat Cole, Mahalia Jackson—and a constant cloud of threat and fury. Aretha Franklin rarely spoke of her inner life, her crises—she was wary of almost everyone—and yet the sound she made, the emotions she expressed and embodied, were as distinctive as Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane.
Prayer, love, desire, joy, despair, rapture, feminism, Black Power—it is hard to think of a performer who provided a deeper, more profound reflection of her times.
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. ~Winston Churchill
Your scars exist, but it’s your courage that defines you. ~Nalini Singh