I was away last week, and so didn’t post immediately on the much-mourned death of musician and social activist Aretha Franklin. Here, you can find a full and detailed biography.https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/aretha-franklin-is-as-immortal-as-can-be
Here is something rather more pointed and personal: novelist Candace Allen’s memory of the impact of Aretha on her life. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/17/aretha-franklin-voice-black-girls-queen-of-soul
Allen, incidentally , is the author of one of the best fictional portraits of a female jazz artist: Valaida. (https://www.amazon.com/Valaida-Candace-Allen/dp/1844081729 )
And here the Washington Post interrogates Trump’s claim in his “tribute” that the artist “worked for me”.https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/08/17/aretha-franklin-worked-for-me-claims-trump-did-she/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1e84c343740c
Even without the fact-checks, it’s clear that without any reflection at all, Trump reverted to a classic racist trope without a moment’s pause. Unsurprising. But Aretha did not need his words anyway. She had – and has – our hearts.