Aretha Franklin's Respect: The Queen Of Music In The 1960s

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The 1960s was a tumultuous decade for the United States. Along with the escalation of the Vietnam War, this decade was rocked by the Civil Rights movement and the second wave of the Feminist movements, creating an immense amount of social tension. As a result, people turned to politically-charged music, predominantly Rock n’ Roll, to release their frustrations. However, an equally important musical genre, Soul, was left in the background. Despite the fact that Soul music was not as popular in the United States, artists such as Aretha Franklin released many politically-charged songs that advocated for social justice. Aretha Franklin, the undisputed queen of Soul, was one of the most important figures of the 1960s. At the time, African Americans and females were struggling to achieve social equality. Therefore, when an African American woman stood up against the social injustices, many stood behind her. It was Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit song “Respect” that defined not only that specific moment in time, but also an entire generation of individuals determined to fight social norms and bring about change. When people think of the song “Respect”, it is Aretha Franklin’s version that immediately pops into mind. However,…show more content…
Although some of the song’s radical intensity has been lost over the years as African Americans and females progressively gained more rights, Franklin’s “Respect” is just as applicable today as it was fifty years ago. Mainstream culture has not yet recognized African Americans and women as equal contributors to society and many of the same methods of discrimination still remain present today. Therefore, it is up to the young, the generation of change to remind the world that Aretha Franklin’s plea for respect was not a revolutionary idea, rather, a stark reminder that respect is an everyday necessity that needs to be given to
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