On Friday's Week In The News roundtable, we dedicated some of the hour to honoring Aretha Franklin, who passed away Thursday at the age of 76.
"Her music is the soundtrack of all of our lives," Atkins said. "Just when it comes to that song alone, it’s truly amazing that she took this song written by Otis Redding, 'Respect,' which really had a lot of misogynistic overtones when he wrote and recorded it — basically, ‘Women, when I get home from work, you better respect me,' completely flipped it, rearranged it and turned it into a song about empowerment. 'You will respect me as a woman, as a person.' That’s why it was so easily used as a battle cry for civil rights, for women’s rights.
"I think she understood what she was doing in that, and I think that’s the one thing all of us think about, particularly people from Detroit, but particularly people in the black community, that she stood up in a time, even when it wasn’t popular, supporting Martin Luther King after he gave his opposition to the Vietnam War, and that wasn’t popular. She was willing to take an unpopular stance for what she thought was right."