Aretha Franklin compares 'Selma' to Ferguson and Eric Garner protests

Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin attended the premiere of Selma in New York City on Sunday and spoke out about the Ferguson protests happening across the country.

Franklin often lent her talents to the civil rights cause and performed publicly in support of Martin Luther King, Jr., a family friend.

The “Natural Woman” singer thinks that parallels between Selma and Ferguson are indisputable and believes the MLK inspired film will serve as a wake-up call.

“I think that it’s gonna bring a higher level of consciousness to everything that’s happening, particularly between the movie and Ferguson and all of the different happenings that we’ve had lately involving all of the young African American men. There is certainly a correlation between the two,” Franklin said.

“I think most importantly the timing… what was happening way back then, and what is still happening now. I think the timing is a very important factor and that the film is going to underscore that and other things as well.”

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Franklin also recalled her friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr.

“He was just a lovely man; he was certainly a great man, as we all knew. A man of class, integrity and great courage.”

Follow’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.