Aretha Franklin used her voice to ‘deliver music for social justice’

Civil rights veteran Bernard LaFayette said Franklin’s contribution to the movement cannot be overstated. 

“She brought the message through music,” said LaFayette, chairman of the board of the SCLC and head of the Emory University Center for Advancing Nonviolence.

“The unique thing about that period is that music was intergenerational. She appealed to younger and older people. The music played a very important role in unifying people and building the kind of coalition that was needed,” LaFayette said.

He remembers attending a Franklin concert. “People would come regardless of religion or ethnicity or race,” he said. “Her concerts broke barriers because music is the language of the soul. She was very clear and unequivocal in her support of the movement for social change.” 

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