She sound-tracked the civil rights movement
Franklin’s father, the Rev C.L. Franklin, was a Baptist minister who organised the June 1963 Detroit Walk To Freedom – a massive march for racial equality. At the time, it was the largest civil rights demonstration in US history. Martin Luther King delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream speech” there, two months before the great March on Washington that would cement it in history.
Franklin, then in her early 20s, has said she was “in awe of Dr King and listened carefully to every word that he said”.
In 1967, Respect was picked up as a battle cry by the civil rights movement, and in February that year King presented Aretha with a leadership award.