Aretha Franklin was more than a woman, more than a diva and more than an entertainer. Aretha Franklin was an American institution. Aretha Franklin died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.
In his new book, The Double V, Rawn James Jr. argues that to understand race in America one must understand the history of African-Americans in the military. While the turning point came between the world wars, the struggle began with the American Revolution.
Before the Civil Rights movement, segregated American cities helped give birth to the Chitlin' Circuit, a touring revue that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians. Rock historian Ed Ward profiles two recent books which illuminate the conditions these musicians endured.
The late James Farmer Jr. was one of the leaders of the civil rights movement and an organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which challenged segregation across the American South. In 1985, Farmer spoke to Terry Gross about his lengthy career fighting discrimination.