Aretha Franklin Tracked By FBI For 40 Years

In September the Rolling Stone obtained Federal Investigation Bureau documents on Aretha Franklin. Her file reaches from 1967-2007. The "Queen of Soul" passed away in 2018. The 270 page FBI document details reports made by agents, including the secrete service, surveillance, wire taps, and made up events that were in attempt to gain more knowledge on Aretha Franklin.

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Informants mentioned Franklin, a Detroit native, in separate memos for possibly appearing at the SCLC's 1967 and 1968 national conventions, in Atlanta and Memphis, respectively. The FBI mailed several copies of "The Atlanta Voice" newspaper, which reported on her visit to town, to FBI offices around the country, as well as the U.S. attorney general and the Secret Service.

During this time, Franklin was, in fact, actively involved in the civil rights movement through her music and personal connections. In 1970, she offered to pay the bail of Angela Davis, a notable activist who had been arrested for kidnapping, conspiracy and murder and was later acquitted. Aretha's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, was also a close friend of King's, and she went on to work with King, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others. Aretha's father C.L. Franklin was also under surveillance by the FBI.

The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request made in 2018. The documents additionally show death threats made against Franklin and infringements of her music and performances. - NPR Miami News.

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