Inspirational Women of Music in the 1960s: Elizabeth Douglas and Aretha Franklin

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T, This is what Elizabeth Douglas and Aretha Franklin both sought out for with regards to African American women in the 1960s. Both of these inspirational women had an extensive role in the Civil Rights Movement. Elizabeth Douglas, more commonly known as Memphis Minnie, used her guitar to change the lives of a bountiful number of people in America. Meanwhile, Aretha Franklin used her recognizable voice to help embolden equal opportunities for African American women and men. Even though Elizabeth and Aretha had unique styles of music, both of these women had common interests when it came to the equality for African American men and woman. The woman in the music industry significantly impacted the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Elizabeth Douglas was one of the numerous women in the music industry to try to put an end to segregation in stores, in restaurants, movie theaters, in life, and even in the work place. Elizabeth Douglas was born in Algiers, Louisiana on June 3, 1897 (Rey). She was the oldest child of 13 brothers and sisters. Elizabeth was given the nickname Lizzie and “Kid” by her close friends and family. She first started playing guitar at the age of 8 when she got her first guitar. When Elizabeth was a teenager, she left her home in Walls, Louisiana and began her life in Memphis, Tennessee. On the streets of Memphis, Tennessee, everyone called Elizabeth “Kid” Douglas. Kid soon realized the struggles of being a broke musician in a highly populated city. When Kid first moved to Memphis she played in string groups and jug bands (Nager). Because she was homeless, Kid had to endure tough situations like having no money for food, clothes, and Kid did not have a place to live for a short amount of time. White ... ... middle of paper ... yourself had to use separate bathrooms and eat at different restaurants than your friends? Aretha and Elizabeth used their passion, music, to join every person, no matter the color of their skin to have a common bond. Music is an excellent way to bring people of all shapes and size together through a common interest. Works Cited H. W. Wilson Company. "Franklin, Aretha." 2014. Info Ohio. 21 April 2014 Nager, Larry. "Memphis Minnie." n.d. Memphis Music Hall of Fame. 21 April 2014 . Rey, Del. "Memphis Minnie Queen of Soul." 1997. Memphis Minnie. 25 April 2014 . The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. "Aretha Franklin Biography." 2014. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. 21 April 2014 .

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