Aretha Franklin Offered to Post Bail for Me

In 1970, Aretha Franklin offered to post bail for Angela Davis, who was jailed on trumped-up charges. Aretha Franklin told Jet magazine in 1970, “My daddy says I don’t know what I’m doing. Well, I respect him, of course, but I’m going to stick by my beliefs. Angela Davis must go free. Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people. I have the money; I got it from Black people—they’ve made me financially able to have it—and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.” We speak with activist and scholar Angela Davis about what Aretha Franklin meant to her.

TRANSCRIPT:

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go back to 1970. Aretha Franklin offered to post bail for Angela Davis, who was jailed on trumped-up charges. And I want to read from a Jetmagazine article from December 3rd, 1970. It’s headlined “Aretha Says She’ll Go Angela’s Bond If Permitted.” In it, Aretha Franklin is quoted saying, “My daddy says I don’t know what I’m doing. Well, I respect him, of course, but I’m going to stick by my beliefs. Angela Davis must go free. Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people. I have the money; I got it from Black people—they’ve made me financially able to have it—and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.” Those the words of Aretha Franklin. She’s talking about professor Angela Davis, who joins us now from Martha’s…

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