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Queen of Soul Dead at 76; Newspapers Unite Behind #FreePress; Bannon's Next Move

Queen of Soul Dead at 76; Newspapers Unite Behind #FreePress; Bannon's Next Move
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Rev. Dr. Keith William Byrd Sr., pastor at the historic Zion Baptist Church in Northwest Washington, DC, and Professor Gerald Horne, who has just finished a manuscript for his forthcoming book Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music.

Aretha Franklin, universally recognized as the "Queen of Soul" and one of America's greatest singers in any genre, died this morning in Detroit. She was 76. She sang at a time when the clarity of her voice was needed, and she had one of the clearest and most soul-piercing voices ever. I mean bone marrow piercing. We'll dive into what she meant on a cultural level and as a supporter of the Civil Rights movement.

Over 350 US newspapers devoted print space today to a coordinated defense of press freedom and a rebuke of US President Donald Trump for saying some media organizations are foes of Americans. So, kudos to the 350 newspapers that coordinated in defense of press freedom. But is there a free press? Is the "free press" in America doing its job? This morning, the president tweeted that the "fake news media" are the "opposition party," and we know he has labeled the news media "the enemy of the American people." Is this a valid complaint?

Steve Bannon continues to push his own pro-Trump agenda. He is launching a 25-person rapid response polling operation and will also be an advisor to Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro for the upcoming elections in October. What does this mean for Bannon, and what does it say about geopolitics and the next phase of the alt-right? Has the GOP become so desperate to gain ground in the midterms that it has to create a rapid response team?


Gerald Horne — African-American historian who currently holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston.

Rev. Dr. Keith William Byrd Sr. — Pastor at the historic Zion Baptist Church in Northwest Washington, DC.

Lauren von Bernuth — Writer and co-founder of Citizen Truth.

Orane Sharpe — Writer and co-founder of Citizen Truth.

Ray Baker — Political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda.

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