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God Bless the Queen

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Aretha Franklin meant so much to me. She looked like us, walked like us, she was our favorite auntie. She spoke her mind. She loved God. She supported women. Fiercely. She never camouflaged her blackness. She struggled, like so many of us, with her weight. But she did not let society tell her how to dress. She did not hide her bounty in caftans. She loved God, and never allowed herself to become estranged from the Holy Spirit. She battled depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. She loved. She laughed. She cried. She mourned. Was well-acquainted with grief. She reflected our pain and our joy in her voice. She took us to church with her voice. She used her voice to make change for women in the music industry, and in the world. An habitual line-stepper and boundary pusher. She was politically savvy. A well-read black girl. And a musical genius who could touch your soul with a moan and a run. Miss Aretha is, and forever will be, the original churched feminist, one we can only aspire to be.

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