Aretha Franklin came to Washington to sing - and for history

Angelo Anderson
August 20, 2018

Standing on the stage where almost 35 years ago he stood to help eulogize her father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Sunday lionized Aretha Franklin not for her music, but for her service to the civil rights cause.

A funeral for the iconic singer, who died at the age of 76 this week after battling cancer, will take place in hometown of Detroit.

The former Beatle shared the following tribute via social media: "Let's all take a moment to give thanks for the attractive life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years". We have felt your love for Aretha, and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on.

Shawn Frazier, 59, a manicurist to the singer for years, told AFP at a salon outside Detroit that the civil rights movement sometimes came up for discussion while the "Queen of Soul" was getting her nails done.

The "Queen of Soul" was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but her family moved to Detroit when she was four. "She was incredible... I'm so grateful".

Barack Obama also posted on about her on Twitter saying, "May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace". When I called Franklin, she was still upset that Warwick announced at the funeral that Franklin was at the church that day - then said she didn't show up - and also referred to Franklin as Houston's godmother.

Aretha Franklin's passing this week robbed the world of a mercurial, inspirational voice.


Her signature song, "Respect" - recorded as a feminist anthem - became a rallying cry as African Americans rose up nationwide in the 1960s to fight peacefully for racial equality. However, when I pressed as to what her sickness actually was, she said: "I'm not one to go into my personal health things".

She continued, "And it is in Detroit that I continue to cultivate my career; it is to Detroit that I direct most of my charitable activities; and it is from Detroit that I receive much love and support, which I reciprocate".

But Franklin was committed to overturning that, Jackson said. Her final concert was an AIDS benefit with Elton John in New York City, Jackson said.

"I picked up the phone and she cursed me out".

"I think that's why I always hire Detroit artists - because of Aretha".

"When she sang, she embodied what we were fighting for, and her music strengthened us. I knew what she meant".

"You've got to understand - she was civil rights, so all the people from down south will be up here in Detroit", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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