U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence’s [MI-14] bill, H.R. 3976, which renames a United States Post Office facility in Detroit after the late national recording artist and Detroiter Aretha Franklin, was signed into law recently. Supported by every member of the Michigan Congressional Delegation, the official name of the post office will become the “Aretha Franklin Post Office Building.” The Post Office facility is located at 12711 East Jefferson Ave.
“I am overjoyed that my bill to rename a Detroit Post Office after the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin, was signed into law. No matter where life took her, Aretha never forgot about her hometown of Detroit,” said Rep. Lawrence in a press release. “Renaming this facility after her is a small gesture of gratitude for her countless contributions to Detroit and the United States. I hope that we can continue to honor Aretha’s legacy and strive to live by the passion, heart, and soul that filled her life every single day. Today, her message rings truer than ever: ‘All I’m askin’ is for a little respect.’”
Aretha Franklin moved to Detroit from Memphis, Tennessee with her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin. Reverend Franklin became the minister at Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church where Aretha started singing on Sunday mornings.
At 17, Aretha moved to New York to pursue a successful singing career that earned her 20 number one hits, nearly 20 Grammy Awards, and resulted in her being the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She sang for three U.S. Presidents, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, and she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2005.
Many remember her as the “Queen of Soul,” but she used her platform to raise awareness during the Civil Rights’ movement. In 1967, she toured with Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier to raise money for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) that launched the Poor People’s Campaign, according to the release. Aretha Franklin passed at the age of 76 in 2018.