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Remembering Kenny--he introduced me to Aretha--he just loved her. In high school we needed heroes who could help us to realize the feelings inside us--to be seen and heard--to know that our lives mattered as we struggled with our adolescent tenderness and outrage. We wanted respect and Aretha gave us a way to connect to that need, demand it, and enjoy it as we danced and sang out "R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Find out what it means to me!" It was an exhilarating time of asserting pride, our beauty, and that Black Lives Matter.

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