A University of South Carolina music professor says Aretha Franklin’s legacy goes beyond that of singer and songwriter.
Birgitta Johnson told South Carolina Radio that Franklin was part of the civil rights movement. “She was born into it. Her father the Rev. CL Franklin he was in Detroit and active in Detroit, he supported Martin Luther King.”
Johnson is an expert in ethnomusicology and African-American music.
“She was the Queen of Soul when America needed a heart transplant. You think about how she comes out in the 1960’s at the height of the civil rights movement, she is a daughter of church royalty,” said Johnson.
Franklin started her music career at an early age the paralleled the movement. “She actually went on tour at the age of 16. So she would really speak in the movement as a child,” Johnson said.
Franklin’s distinct style has influenced American music for decades.
Franklin died Thursday, August 16th after a lengthy illness.