State officials designated a portion of the M-10 freeway in Detroit as the “Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway” this week. The legendary Queen of Soul grew up nearby.
“She taught generations of women to demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
State Representative Leslie Love was instrumental in honoring the late Queen of Soul. She highlighted Franklin’s humanity during the ceremony.
“Thank you for being such a wonderful person,” Love said. ”You were just a human who cooked chitlins and loved people and could sing and just cared — particularly about Black people. And in this time and era where Black lives do matter, sister Franklin, we just thank you for your legacy, and your love.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill that designated the name change. In brief remarks, Whitmer cited Franklin’s activism as one of the reasons for the honor.
“She went on tour with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr at age 16, traveling across the country to fight for civil rights,” Whitmer said. “She was the first African American woman ever featured on the cover of Time Magazine. She taught generations of women to demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
Franklin was born in Memphis but was raised in Detroit. The Grammy Award-winning singer died in 2018.