Fans around the world were sadden to hear of the passing of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. I don't think any of us haven't listened to her music. As a child her music was the gold standard in our house. Imagine a 6 or 7 year old walking around the house singing "Don't Play that Song for Me", "A'int No Way" , "Natural Woman", and "Say a Little Prayer" (I know because that child was me...LOL)!
Ms. Franklin's music was so timeless that I used her song "Young, Gifted, and Black" as the backdrop for my dissertation defense on March 31, 2015. My study focused on high achieving and gifted Black children so I couldn't have picked a song more fitting than that.
When it comes to history, Ms. Franklin's music is at the forefront of the most important events in modern times; from the Civil Rights Movement to the Inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. With countless hits, the one that resonates with this blog post is "Respect". When she gets to the bridge of that song and says "R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me", I remember seeing an interview where she explained what that word meant. She told the reporter "Respect is something everybody wants, even children want respect". And isn't that the truth? No matter who you are, where you are, or what you have, every person deserves respect. When beginning a new work week on next week, let's remember that message. When we are spending time with our loved ones, let's remember that message. And when we have those moments where we start to become discouraged and start doubting ourselves, let us remember that message. You know I always like to close my blog posts by challenging you to go out there and be GREAT, but this week I will close with a salute to Ms. Aretha Franklin. Thank you for your songs that gave our people hope even in a world that continues to judge us by the color of our skin and not the content of our character. Thank you for songs that let women around the world know we are beautiful, songs that told men how much we love them, but also let them know when they haven't done right by us, simply put, thank you for songs that have stirred our souls and will leave a lasting impact.
My prayer is that God will comfort your family and all those who knew you personally and loved you dearly. Thank you Ms. Aretha Franklin for the history lesson that you gave us through your music. With much appreciation and R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Until next time...Have a great week ahead everybody!