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November 27, 2014

Response to Ferguson: Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions

Ferguson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.

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No More Pork For Aretha Franklin; Queen Of Soul Discusses Weight Loss Regimen

Comments (46)

This past Sunday, Aretha Franklin turned up on the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards – her first television appearance since undergoing surgery for an undisclosed ailment in December.

Following a star-studded Grammy Awards tribute and the show's opening number by Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Florence Welch, the Queen of Soul appeared noticeably slimmer in a video clip, where she thanked fans for their cards, flowers and prayers.
And, if the 68 year-old vocal powerhouse has her choice, she will keep shedding more pounds in the near future.



"I want to not only maintain the weight I am at now, but better it, by one dress size," the 'Respect' singer told the Associated Press this week.

Franklin has not only begun an exercise routine, which includes walking a track three times a week for at least a mile, she's also made a few major adjustments to her diet in her goal to reach a size 16.

Gone are the chitterlings, pigs' feet and ham hocks of days past. Now, she's focused on healthier eating options.

"They're off my diet. They just really don't fit with Whole Foods," she said. "I had it for enough years that I don't miss it. You can't continue to eat things that are not good for you."

Franklin admitted that keeping the diet is tough with the touring schedule she keeps.

"When you come off (a high-energy concert), a carrot or some celery just isn't going to work," she said. "I've gotta do a fresh fruit thing ... and come up with some tasty and satisfying recipes that are going to work for me after concerts."

For now, the 18-time Grammy Award winner, who stands firm that she currently is back at "150 percent," is gearing up for her first post-surgery performance on May 28 at Seneca Niagara Casino in Buffalo, NY.

She is practicing her singing four to five times a day and plans to release an album the first week of May titled 'Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love' exclusively in Wal-Mart Stores. R. Kelly is one of the album's songwriters.

"It's definitely going to take the boomers back ... but it's also contemporary with respect to other writers and production," she said.

Franklin has been hitting the town – attending a Detroit Pistons game with her friend Rev. Jesse Jackson and days later turned up at a boat show. Let her tell it, her goal remains to "just maintain good health from here."





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Her Royal Highness

After recording a string of jazz and blues projects for Columbia Records, Memphis born songstress Aretha Franklin landed at Atlantic Records in 1966. "They made me sit down on the piano and the hits came," she later said about her legacy there.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin performing during a Martin Luther King Benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on June 28, 1968.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin with 'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius. Franklin was one of many entertainers who performed on the long-running show during its 1970s heyday.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin rehearsing for Inaugural Eve program for newly elected US President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale at the Kennedy Center in 1977.

Her Royal Highness

Flanked in fur, Aretha Franklin in the press room at the Grammy Awards, circa early 1980s.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin performing in Chicago on April 18, 1985.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin, pictured here with Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun (circa early 1990s), at a private music industry party.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin and Luciano Pavarotti are photographed at the 8th Annual Music Cares Gala in Honor of the famed opera singer. The event took place at New York City's posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 23, 1998.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin held royal court during the broadcast of 'VH1 Divas Live' at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on April 14, 1998. During the show's finale a stirring rendition of her classic song, 'Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel),' The Queen of Soul is joined by Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Carole King, Celine Dion and Shania Twain.

Her Royal Highness

On September 29, 1999, President Bill Clinton, along with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, awarded Aretha Franklin with the 1999 National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

Her Royal Highness



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