Jun 7, 2013

Roots & Rhythm: Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady

June is the month that many of us share our appreciation and love for black music, past and present.  Music is a powerful vehicle to convey the culture of people.  Between the music, lyrics, and images associated with a project, artists are able to express themselves and the world as they see it.  In appreciation, we'll jam with some artists that made a statement with their music and their hair this month. There is only one place to start: The Afro.

The classic elegance of The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

In 1971, America took its first ride on "The Hippest Trip in America" when Soul Train entered syndication and living rooms across America.  For the first time, many people living in America saw themselves on television exactly as they were.  The artists and dancers that appeared looked like them, dressed like them and wore their hair just as they did.  Soul Train represented an underlying cultural revolution.  Self-pride was brewing and Soul Train offered tickets weekly.

To kick off our tribute this month, here is The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, performing Rock Steady in 1971.  Lady Soul has a beautifully cropped afro, but Don Cornelius' is just a bit more perfect.  The Soul Train dancers are wearing afros, braids, and straightened hair, reminding us of the rich history of our hair and the natural styles we love dearly today.

A few things that will make you love this performance even more:
  1. 0:08 - Don Cornelius' Afro does an epic bounce.
  2. 1:30 - Aretha wipes the sweat from her brow with such elegance, you almost miss it.
  3. 2:00 - When Aretha sings "Oh!", she is giving you the definition of soul.  Feel it.
Aretha Franklin on the cover of Ebony December 1971 looking fabulous in a headwrap over her Afro.
Love, Peace and Soul!

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