No one can appreciate the depth of Aretha Franklin’s influence as clearly as women, like me, who came of age in the Feminist Movement in the late 1960’s.
What do we do with the remnants of romance when we have long outgrown it?
I grew up with almost no music at all. Music, after all, is not words and only words counted in that world.
There are so many obligations, so many treats and distractions, that I have failed—until now—to change my life to accommodate the books I still want and need to write.
There remains for me always an uneasiness about those large egos that can so easily trample smaller ones, even when the owner of the ego does not choose to exercise that power.
What a hegira this has been, from the first day I called for a box of research materials at the Duke University Library to the pile of manuscript pages lying beside my computer.
These women were so large… so encompassing in their warmth and passion, even for their audience of white women, that I was stunned—this is the way we can all go, I thought, if we have the courage, we who are all hurt to some greater or lesser degree by the cruelties and injustices of this society.
Doris Duke practiced with Martha Graham’s company in New York and proudly wore their black satin jacket with her name and the company’s name on the back.
Was Doris Duke in love with, or—more cogently—did she love any of these men, or the six or seven others who took up portions of her life? Hard to say.
Doris, high-diving, surfing in Hawaii, battling the waves on a stormy day off Newport as she had ever since childhood, might have resisted pop music’s anthem of female submission.