Aretha Franklin Tackled Social Justice Issues Through Music

Aretha Franklin and civil rights
The photo of Aretha Franklin by Linda McCartney is seen behind a camera during the press preview at the exhibition 'Sixties' by Linda McCartney in the Avant-garde House of Art in Apolda, Germany on April 8, 2016. Jens Meyer / Associated Press
Aretha Franklin and civil rights
The photo of Aretha Franklin by Linda McCartney is seen behind a camera during the press preview at the exhibition 'Sixties' by Linda McCartney in the Avant-garde House of Art in Apolda, Germany on April 8, 2016. Jens Meyer / Associated Press

Aretha Franklin Tackled Social Justice Issues Through Music

Aretha Franklin’s talent is undeniable. But she also used her music and platform to take on social issues throughout her career.

Franklin built a clause into her contracts back in the 1960s that said she would not perform in front of segregated audiences. Her 1967 hit “Respect” became an anthem for women’s empowerment.

Morning Shift breaks down how Franklin’s music became part of the soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.

GUESTS: Jill Hopkins, host of the Morning AMp on Vocalo

Richard Steele, former WBEZ host and correspondent

Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Chicago rapper and activist

LEARN MORE: Aretha Franklin’s Revolution (The Atlantic 8/16/18)

Aretha Franklin: The sound of the civil rights movement (BBC News 8/16/18)