Black History Month: Aretha Franklin


Stephon Berry

What you want? Baby she’s got it. The music you need? You know she’s got it. All she’s asking for is just a little respect, and being the self-made queen of soul it’s the least Aretha Franklin could ask for. Aretha Franklin, born 3/25/1942 in Memphis, Tennessee is the daughter of Reverend C.L. Franklin.

He was a very prominent man in the black community and one of the first ministers, black or white, to have his own nationally-broadcast radio show. This kind of recognition meant that any child of his would most certainly make a splash, but Ms. Aretha Franklin was the hurricane the world never expected. Because of her father’s status, as a young women the Franklin’s home was often frequented by very famous black musicians.

Female musicians with such gospel largess as Clara Ward and Mahalia Jackson. She toured with her father’s choir and engaged in acts that resulted in her becoming a mother at the age of 15(some sources say 14) and she had a second child two years later(some sources say one). Franklin didn’t allow her occupations as a mother to muffle her ambitions.

She went on to become one of the most honored women in the history of the Grammy’s with a mantel totaling 18 pieces, and she was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame. In 2005 she was awarded the presidential medal of Freedom and became the second woman ever to be inducted into the UK Hall of fame.

All photos legally used by/from AP images