Voice of Her Time
Getting Some Respect
Aretha's songs, voice, and style came along at the right time. “Respect” in particular hit a chord with the American public. “Respect” echoed the feelings of thousands of people throughout 1967, which was a year of struggle and change. Aretha sang the song from a woman's point of view, laying it on the line for her man and telling him what she expected from him. The song had a universal appeal, though, and people of all races, genders, and ages could understand the desire for respect and equal treatment. The song became an anthem for people struggling in the civil rights and women's rights movements.
Like her father, Aretha was “color-blind” in her professional relationships. She worked easily with white producers and musicians and considered many of them personal friends. Her success in working with people of all colors gave Aretha a unique perspective on the civil rights struggle. Her life was proof that an African American woman could be financially successful and gain the respect of men and women of any color.