Queen of Civil Service: Aretha Franklin Was More Than an OD

Aretha Franklin was our Queen of Soul and the indisputable Original Diva(OD).

She used her four octave voice to not only make us ugly cry (I dare you not to do the same with her rendition of Precious Lord during MLK’s funeral) but remind the world we matter. Black lives matter. Long before a grassroots movement formed.

She was a key supporter of the Civil Rights movement by lending that powerhouse voice to SCLC events, like the org’s 10 year anniversary convention–Aretha Franklin sang for two hours.

So long the headline speaker (Sidney Poitier) didn’t go on until early the next morning.

Now if that’s not rallying for the message…

Aretha Franklin may not have been on the front lines of civil rights marches, but helped raise $250,000 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and SCLC to go on tour spreading their nonviolent message.

Aretha Franklin sang from her soul and quietly poured her heart into causes and people that uplift African American community, like political activist Angela Davis.

When Davis was locked up and charged with murder in the ’70s, Aretha Franklin vowed to bail her out.

“I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a black woman and she wants freedom for black people. I have the money; I got it from black people–they’ve made me financially able to have it–and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.” Aretha Franklin said at the time.

“As soon as the campaign for bail was created, Aretha came forward and said if bail was set she would pay whatever amount was needed, whether $100,000 or $200,000–which was a lot of money at the time, Davis told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Davis was denied bail at the time, but never forgot Aretha Franklin’s commitment to helping her and thanked her publicly for years.

More recently, Aretha Franklin donated money and hotel rooms to her fellow Michigan natives affected by Flint water crises in 2016.

” She used her voice to deliver music for social justice,’ Rev Jesse Jackson told The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “She was a fighter who used her art as a platform.”

The voice may have been silenced today, but her spirit and legacy will always get R E S P E C T.

Woman Crush Wednesday | Aretha Franklin Helps Flint, Michigan Residents

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Aretha Franklin aka Queen of Soul (rightfully crowned so.) Should add another title to her reign: queen of hearts.

For donating rooms at Holiday Inn in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit, to 25-50 Flint, Michigan residents affected by a tainted water supply.

The R&B Diva will also provide meals from the local Coney Island.

Franklin will depend on her Daddy’s church–New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit–to determine which Flint residents should benefit and when, reports KSAT.

Good luck with the pre-screen…it is a town of 100,000. I’m guessing they’ll help the worse cases.

“Detroiters usually come to the aid of Detroiters–and Flint is certainly regarded as Detroit” Franklin told Local 4.

Adding “Hang in there” to those suffering in the D.

The R.E.S.P.E.C.T songbird isn’t the only one to come to the rescue of Flint’s water crisis. Diddy made good on his promise by pledging one million bottles of his Aquahydrate water to Flint.

 

Rapper The Game donated $1 million dollars to Flint through his non-profit–The Robin Hood Project. Half the money is out of his own pocket.

The Game used the opportunity to shade celebs that are “pledging” money to the troubled city rather than donating outright. He posted his rant (see below) on Instagram this week.

To those who think it’s easy getting this water to Flint, it’s not so the people who are PLEDGING they are, show us..We want proof!! Stop using other tragedies for your own celebrity gain…you’re not fooling ANYONE!

The “She’s Got Game” reality star then goes on to call out Madonna and Jimmy Fallon for their measly $10K donations.

I seen @Madonna & @JimmyFallon’s $10,000 donations…that’s cute, but not nearly enough…So I challenge both & anyone else in the world to match me & DONATE $1,000,000 in bottled water to Flint, Michigan & we want proof, shipping order receipts, bank wire receipts, pictures etc……No more pretending to give a fuck….

Guess he’s not a believer of the philosophy every little bit helps.

Seriously though, let’s continue to help Flint y’all.

The Black Ball!! Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive Celebrates 11th Anniversary

aliciakeysAlicia was the belle of the ball at her annual gala to raise money for her Keep a Child Alive org that provides HIV treatments and support services to families affected in Africa.

How adorbz is the cute PDA between Alicia and Swizz on the black carpet?

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Diddy and Alicia’s hubby Swizz Beatz co-hosted the event held at the Hammerstein Ballroom,in NYC last night.

Diddy and Swizz Beatz (don’t they look like dapper dons?) brought out Kanye West to introduce participants at the Black Ball’s opening.

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Madge cuddled with the guest of honor at the fundraiser and took selfies with Mr. West.

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The event drew in leggy beauties Joan Smalls, Alek Wek and Selita Ebanks, making it a model affair. And where there are models…

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…that’s where music mogul Russell Simmons’ will be. Joined by niece Angela Simmons and Lala Anthony, Russell took video of Diddy and Nas rocking the stage with “You Can Hate Me Now.”

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But it looks like the real showstopper was ¬†Alicia’s performance of ¬†“Empire State,” seeing how they were in the Big Apple.

And backed up Nas for his “If I Ruled the World” performance at the ball.

Rounding out the ball bashers are Estelle and “Top Chef’s” Padma Lakshmi.

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And living legend Aretha Franklin graced A.K with her presence.

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No official word on how much the affair raised, but got a very generous donation of $200K during the night. If I was a betting woman I’d say they took in at least $1 or $2 milly for the cause.

Good work, Ms. Keys. I’m sure the preggo glow worked wonders on those with deep pockets.