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With “Respect,” you gave black women an unprecedented voice and visibility. Your song spoke to the racism that needed to be vanquished in the country — and it addressed, in a way “We Shall Overcome” never did, the sexism that needed to be conquered in the black community.

Happy 70th birthday, Aretha Franklin. From our NPR 100 series, Evelyn C. White recalls sneaking backstage at Radio City Music Hall to meet her hero. 

    With “Respect,” you gave black women an unprecedented voice and visibility. Your song spoke to the racism that needed to be vanquished in the country — and it addressed, in a way “We Shall Overcome” never did, the sexism that needed to be conquered in the black community.

    Happy 70th birthday, Aretha Franklin. From our NPR 100 series, Evelyn C. White recalls sneaking backstage at Radio City Music Hall to meet her hero.