INFAMOUS: 1. for some bad quality or deed.
2.Wicked; abominable: “infamous misconduct”.
Aretha Franklin wore a hat to the first Inauguration of President Obama. I thought she looked great and I saw nothing wrong with her hat. It was a typical church lady hat. It was the kind of hat that you find black women wearing on any given Sunday, but Franklin was joked and mocked for days. Including the Queen of Kindness Ellen DeGeneres, but as we stand a few days away from the 2nd Inauguration I thought the mocking had stopped until I saw People magazine article online this morning. The article was listing the participants in the upcoming presidential festivities and they decided to take another poke at the Queen of Soul. They wrote that Kelly Clarkson has been asked to sing My Country ‘Tis of Thee this time and they said last time that honor went to Aretha Franklin and her “infamous” hat. Words matter and there was nothing infamous about her hat. Sure it was not for everyone, but infamous is the wrong descriptor. This was an unecessary potshot so unworthy of the Queen.
Tag Archives: Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin is R & B deity. You simply don’t talk about her unless you are heaping praise on her. Radio legend Tom Joyner will disconnect any listener that dares to talk negatively about Miss Franklin. It is an unwritten law but still a law. Aretha Franklin has expressed an interest in being a judge on American Idol and NBC Kathie Lee Gifford made the mistake of saying the following, “If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there (who) actually don’t know who Aretha Franklin is. It’s sad, but they don’t,” Gifford said. Franklin responded by saying “While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong!” Franklin wrote. “I’ve been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus.”Further, my audience and fans span the age of 8 to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line! “I’m surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience! She’s usually right on top of things with a great sense of humor, but she’s totally wrong this time. She should research me before she speaks about me. I’m sure she thought she was right; still enjoy Hoda and Kathie Lee!” As for be a judge on “Idol,” Franklin made it clear she’s up for the task. “I could enjoy being a judge for a season or two. Let’s kick it up a few notches and have a slammin’, jammin’ season,” she wrote. Franklin might be 70, but she is still relevant.
Who would have thought a simple gray church hat would cause such a stir, I’m sure Aretha Franklin bought the hat simply because she liked it, but it turned into an international sensation. Now the Smithsonian Institute wants the hat. This is unbelievable. On any given Sunday you can see variations of this hat at any black church, and the ladies are not trying to make history, they are simply trying to be fashionable. The stir underscores how the majority still has a real disconnect from the majority. The Queen is still on the fence she says “I would like to smile every time I look back at it and remember what a great moment it was in American and African-American history. Ten cheers for President Obama.” Hopefully Ms. Franklin will part with her simple gray hat for the sake of history.
The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin sang at President Obama’ inauguration. She had on a gray hat and gray coat. No big deal. I would describe her ensemble as the typical church lady look. If you visit any black church you will see a variation of that hat on any given Sunday, but yesterday I saw the hat discussed, mocked and criticized on television and in blog land. Having grown up in the black church I know women who literally have hundreds of hats in virtually every color of the rainbow and every dimension known to man. When I was growing up there was a member of my church who would literally make dozens of hats for Easter Sunday. So Aretha’s hat really was no big deal, but the bigger issue is that it demonstrates that the majority really have no idea what goes on in the black community. It is possible for members of the majority to live a life that is devoid of any relationship with members of the minority. They don’t know us and they have never really had to know us. With the election of the new president America will get to see a lot more of what goes on in the community. So I take my hat off to the Queen because her hat has opened up another conversation that is long overdue.