by G. Brown
Time heals all wounds the saying goes. Another quote reminds us, “the wounds remain…the pain lessens, but it is never gone.” The pain of losing one of the world’s greatest singers is still very much with fans of Aretha Franklin.
Thousands of them are expected to make the pilgrimage to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit to pay tribute in a public viewing. The BBC says, “Aretha’s death is being treated like the passing of royalty”. To many fans, she was.
Fans are travelling from near and far some reportedly sleeping on the sidewalk for the chance to be the first in line when the museum opened on Tuesday. Others endure the summer’s heat for hours waiting in line for the chance to say a final farewell. Latonya McIntyre made the trek from Las Vegas and told CNN, “I’ve been waiting since Monday. I got in line at 4 p.m.” The woman brought along her 14 year old son because “This is history. I wanted to be a part of the homegoing for Ms. Franklin.”
Dedicated and adoring fans like McIntyre form a line that trails around the building and down the street. Some sing her praises by literally singing some of Franklin’s many hit songs…others are more somber, moved to tears at the chance to pay her homage. Franklin’s voice and music touched the hearts of many who embraced her as more than a celebrity and icon, but as a member of their own family. Tiffany Dorsey wore a short with the words, “RIP Auntie Reatha Queen of Soul“. Dorsey said, “She was real loving. She would give gifts to people and do things for them and a lot of times people didn’t even know it was her. She’s going to be missed.”
According to Rolling Stone Magazine, “The singer’s body was displayed wearing a “lace-trimmed ruffled suit and satin pumps” inside a gold casket…She arrived to the museum in a white LaSalle car, as people lined the nearby streets.”Travelling in style, like she always did, #ArethaFranklin arrives in a golden casket, as fans wait to see her lie in state here in #Detroit. pic.twitter.com/8bL6EcSbVj
— Rajini Vaidyanathan (@BBCRajiniV) August 28, 2018
Franklin’s body will lie in state for two days at the same museum that hosted civil rights activist Rosa Parks viewing 13 years ago. Fans will be able to visit until 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Franklin’s funeral will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Ron Isley and Yolanda Adams are among the artists who will sing at the service. The list of speakers include former President Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson and actress Cicely Tyson.
The service will be livestreamed via The Associated Press and broadcast on local Detroit TV stations as well as CNN an FOX News.