FBI files show the FBI was monitoring the activities of Aretha Franklin, a common focus during the civil rights era

The document has been redacted, but despite extensive oversight, agents and investigators appear to have concluded that there was no cause for alarm. The file also outlines death threats and extortion attempts targeting the singer, as well as copyright infringement lawsuits.

The FBI news agency has no additional information about the 270-page file, but Courage News founder Jenn Dize said it obtained the records at a Freedom of Information Act request. A journalist who “frequently reports on abuses of Alphabet agencies, especially in relation to the civil rights movement,” requested the documents in 2018. she wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

One document, stamped in September 1976, issues several unsubstantiated allegations against Franklin.

  • A 1972 article in The West Coast Communist Newspaper shows that Franklin performed at a concert arranged by a group affiliated with the Communist Party. Angela Davisa political activist facing murder and kidnapping charges in California at the time.
  • Later that year, a confidential source identified Franklin among the “affiliated or known persons” as the leader of “a black extremist group seeking to disturb the tranquility of Dominican Island” north of Venezuela. .
  • A review of the Black Liberation Army in April 1973 showed a single document with the address of Franklin’s booking agency in New York City. The document describes the BLA as “a paramilitary group that employs the tactics of urban guerrilla warfare against the established order with the aim of achieving revolutionary change in America.”

Despite the allegations, the documents say there is “no additional relevant information” about Franklin.

These documents follow years of reports about the beloved diva. In 1967, a confidential memo titled “Communist Invasion of the Internal Security of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” reported that the “Weekly Atlanta Negro Newspaper” reported that Franklin would perform at the SCLC’s 10th anniversary dinner. SCLC at the time was headed by another popular target of FBI surveillance, the Reverend Martin Luther King.

Days after King’s assassination, the station expressed concern that Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr., Marlon Brando, Mahalia Jackson and the Supremes were scheduled to perform at a tribute concert, with some of the entertainers saying: They support radical black power concepts, and most have been at the forefront of various civil rights movements.”

Furthermore, “members (of the Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee) felt that performances by these prominent entertainers provided an emotional spark that could ignite racial turmoil in the region.” says. SCLC later decided not to hold a memorial service, documents say.

Her father, Reverend CL Franklin, also came to the attention of the FBI when he denounced Britain and praised the Chinese Communist Party at an SCLC event in August 1968. According to FBI documents, the SCLC “has adopted a ‘hate America’ and ‘pro-communist’ line. The black public will not recognize it, but they will follow it blindly.”

The following year, federal investigators also investigated: Franklin and his fellow singer Roberta signed his flak to Atlantic Records. A “brawl” in August 1968 that erupted at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheater after Franklin declined to appear. Alleged her ties to the BLA and the Black Panther Party.

A January 1972 memo stated that a top-secret informant provided a phone number obtained by the Black Panthers, and that the informant was used by law enforcement via a “phone call under cover.” A trap has been set up to convince the suspect to say something on the recorded line. It turns out that Cecil Franklin is the father of prominent black singer and entertainer Aretha Franklin, and that Mrs. Owens is her manager.

The agency said in a May 1973 document that two sources whose names are redacted told officials that, to their knowledge, Franklin had nothing to do with the “radical movement.” I admit that

“There is no evidence that Miss Franklin was involved in BLA activities, and given her reputation as a singer, it would not be in the Bureau’s interest to attempt to interview her,” it said. A letter from an FBI agent in New York to then-Director William Ruckelshaus.

CNN reached out to Franklin’s fortune.

News of Franklin’s FBI files came days after Mickey Dolenz, the last surviving member of the Monkees. he announced that he was suing the station Release all files about him or his former bandmates. CNN also reports other startling numbers — From blind activist Helen Keller to rapper Tupac Shakur, — Who the FBI has files on and who the FBI is civil rights file Provides athletic celebrities.

Here are some highlights from these archives.

stokely carmichael

As leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panther Party, Carmichael has always been a cause for concern for the federal government. Over 200 pages of his FBI files are verifiableA redacted memo from the sender to then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover states: We know that to eliminate something is to get rid of it, to get rid of it, to make it go away. you will have to remove it.

Cesar Chavez

US Labor Party leader Cesar Chavez speaks at a rally in Coachella, California, 1977.
Ann symbol of the labor movementhis FBI file spans over 2,000 pages. with one note“Chavez has refused to answer questions directed at him by credit bureaus or similar organizations. has no clear information on this point. He believes Chavez associates with “left-wing” type individuals and distributes “People’s World” for free from his office in Delano. known for “

WEB Dubois

Despite being the author of 20 books on civil rights, Africa and history, the FBI Over 500 pages About a highly respected sociologist who focused on his socialist tendencies. The secret-stamped files, according to Du He Bois’ autobiography Dusk at Dawn, the author “refers to fundamental Negro beliefs: ownership and control of the means of production, and income equality of.”

Fannie Lou Hamer

of National Women’s History Museum Describing Hammer as “one of the most important, passionate, and powerful voices of the civil rights and voting rights movements,” the U.S. Department of Justice said: was definitely watching her workeven if she often misspelled her name as Fannie Hammer.

A June 1963 memo summarizes her and other activists’ arrests for sitting in the whites-only section and the whites-only lunch counter of a Greyhound bus in Winona, Mississippi. Hamer told authorities it was two days before she was informed of her charges of immorality and resisting arrest. The cell hit her victim with her hand in an attempt to silence her screams as she was beaten by her inmates.” She was eventually released after posting her $200 bail. I was.

Fred Hampton

A few months before his assassination in 1969, Fred Hampton was the leader of the Black Panther Party.
In 1969, police killed the Black Panther leader in his sleep. Appearing in “Judas and the Black Messiah” It took three years before anyone was brought to justice (the prosecutor and 13 others were acquitted) and more than a decade before survivors of the attack received seven-figure payouts. But the week after Hampton’s murder, Hoover received a letter from a redacted sender“There are disturbing signs that the Chicago police brutally murdered Fred Hampton…. If Hampton was actually murdered in bed, the killer must be brought to justice. Even more so if there is. What is your office planning to do?”

Medgar Evers

The first NAACP secretary, Mississippi Field, was assassinated by a white supremacist in 1963. A long file of civil rights icons Reported a week before Evers was murdered, he said he feared the NAACP and his home phone were tapped. “Suspicion was aroused by an unusual amount of static electricity, the sensation of listening in a vacuum, unusual noises, muted voices, and hollow sounds as if someone was listening,” the document states. increase.

Reverend Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King

Hoover seems to have hated Martin Luther King, tracked his every moveThe FBI director at the time once wrote of a civil rights icon meeting with the Pope, “I am amazed that the Pope gave such a depraved audience an audience.”Hoover also oversaw his FBI A plan to neutralize the King.
King’s wife, Coretta, could not escape such scrutinyA memo reviewing one of her books called into question the credibility of her demeanor, and after her husband’s death, the FBI’s Atlanta office said, I suggested a strategy to keep an eye on her. The bureau was also concerned about the “continued projection of public image” of Coretta King and her late husband.

Malcolm and Betty Shabazz

For years, the FBI monitored Malcolm X and his wife, Betty Shabazz.
Malcolm X was famously on FBI surveillance from 1953 until his assassination in 1965, outlined in a file containing thousands of pages. real name When his nickname — But even after the Muslim minister was killed, the bureau continued to monitor his wife.
a Details of the 1965 Department of Justice memo It warns of her “traveling abroad” and what an Amsterdam News article a few months ago reported: To Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage during Hajj. Another article cited by the FBI speculated that her trip was “sponsored by several African countries.”

Jackie Robinson

One of the greatest baseball players of all time to swing a bat, Robinson also broke down the barriers that kept African Americans from playing big league baseball. However, ten years after his retirement, the FBI paid close attention to his activities On behalf of James Meredith, who was shot Four years after quarantining the University of Mississippi.

Years earlier, a 1958 memo, citing a People’s Voice article, reported that Robinson had “accepted chairmanship of the New York State Organizing Committee for All Blacks and Allied Veterans,” citing the newspaper and UNAVA. pointed out that both had communist ties. The latter was accused of being a “communist front that ‘induces racial friction'”.



Source: www.cnn.com

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