RIP Aretha Franklin And Jill Kargman Speaks Out

Jill Kargman Speaks Out Against Anti-Semitism and Hate Speech

By Eliza Fogel

Jill Kargman, author, writer and actress in Bravo’s Odd Mom Out reported on anti-semitism in her son Fletch’sschool, St. Bernard’s on the Upper East Side of NYC, and used the incident as an opportunity to raise awareness of the increased prejudice and hate that is popping up in our society. According to Kargman, a boy in her son’s class said that he was a “fan of Hitler” and liked him because” God sent him down for nailing Jesus to the cross.” When Kargman contacted the school’s headmaster, she received a strange response saying, “courage”, and decided to ignore it.  Later, Kargman found out that her son was faced with another anti-semitic comment, yet the guilty child faced only the minor consequence of missing one field trip.

While St. Bernard’s School responded saying that it does not tolerate anti-semitism and that Kargman’s articles do not portray what really happened, in the end Jill and her husband Harrypulled Fletch from his school. Although Jill felt good about leaving the school, she asked, “What if I’d lived in a small town with only one school? I would have nowhere to go, which is why we need to make every child feel protected from this poisonous lava oozing across the nation. Everyone deserves to feel the calm of those Roygbiv colors, a prism of acceptance and love.”

Read Kargman’s complete story here.


RIP Aretha Franklin

By Caroline Antonacci

On August 16th, Aretha Franklin, at age 76, died of pancreatic cancer. Aretha Franklin was known as the “Queen of Soul” as she is one of America’s greatest singers of all styles. Franklin gave women a new archetype: strong and loving but not to be taken for granted. Some of her most famous hits include “Do Right Woman – Do Right Man,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools” and “Respect”. “Respect” was a song largely dedicated to feminism. It was about how a woman should be greeted by a spouse when she gets home, that stereotype should not just be for a man coming home from work. It was a song fighting for equality. Franklin was a very accomplished woman. She placed more than 100 singles in the Billboard charts, received 18 competitive Grammy Awards, the lifetime achievement award in 1994, and she was the first woman in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis on March 25, 1942. She moved to Buffalo and then to Detroit with her father, two sisters, and brother. Her two sisters, Erma and Carolyn, also sang and wrote songs, and her brother Cecilwas her manager until he passed away in 1989. Franklin taught herself to play the piano. Before she turned 13, she became pregnant, dropped out of high school and had a child. Around 1957, Franklin left her children with family in Detroit and moved to New York City to build a career in secular music. John Hammond, the Columbia Records executive signed the 18 year old in 1960. Her first studio album, “Aretha” sent two singles to the R&B Top 10: “Today I Sing the Blues” and “Won’t Be Long”. DownBeat, the jazz magazine, named her the new female vocal star of the year. Her contract expired in 1966, and she signed with Atlantic Records, which specialized in rhythm and blues. With this new contract, she got No. 1 on the R&B charts with “I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)” and “Respect,” she earned her first two Grammy Awards also for “Respect” for best R&B recording and best solo female R&B, and got seven more Top 10 pop hits.  In 1999 Mr. Ritz wrote an autobiography about her. She continued to record, earn No. 1 on the R&B charts and even on the Pop charts.

She’s performed at everything from Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral to former President Obama’s inauguration. She truly was a remarkable woman who stood up and sang about women equality and produced amazing music.


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