Detroit honors Queen of Soul with post office naming

Detroit – The legacy of the Queen of Soul was celebrated Monday at a post office on the east side renamed in her honor.

Family, friends, Detroit executives, and lawmakers gathered at the Fox Creek Station Post Office at 12711 E. Jefferson Avenue for a dedication ceremony in honor of Aretha Franklin, who died in 2018.

US MP Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, supported legislation to rename the building in Franklin’s honor. The bill was enacted in January by ex-President Donald Trump.

It was a very personal thing for Lawrence, who shared a close relationship with Franklin.

“I want you to know that Aretha Franklin stood up politically and used her voice,” Lawrence said during the inauguration on Monday. “She used her voice to appear at events and to use this God-given gift of her voice to energize people and encourage action.”

Two of Franklin’s four sons, Edward and Kecalf Franklin, shared their gratitude and memories of their mother and expressed their dedication to community improvement.

Edward Franklin thanked the public and elected officials for “all the love you have shown our families.” Kecalf recited a prayer and sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow”.

A post office on the east side was renamed to honor the late Aretha Franklin.  The Queen of Soul died in 2018 and the inauguration came after a city park and section of the Lodge Freeway were renamed after Franklin.

Detroit’s Deputy Mayor Conrad Mallett was also there on Monday, along with City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield, State. Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, and US Sens. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, to reflect on the legendary singer’s contributions.

“She was kind, she was always kind,” said Mallett. “We will always remember Aretha.”

(from left) Richard Moreton, (glasses), USPS District Manager, Michigan 1st District, and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, unveil an Aretha Franklin plaque during a renaming ceremony at USPS Fox Creek Station in Detroit.

The post office building is the latest renaming in Franklin’s honor and is located just a few miles from what was formerly Chene Park, an area near the Detroit riverside that the city renamed the Aretha Louise Franklin Amphitheater after her death.

Last year, a section of the Lodge Freeway was dedicated to Franklin in his honor. The M-10 section from Livernois to Interstate 94 was approved in August 2020 by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and other state and city guides revealed as the Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway.

The particular section of the highway was marked with a sign at the lodge near Pallister in New Center, visible to travelers north and south.

Fannie Tyler, Franklin’s former personal assistant, said Monday that Franklin always prioritized “the less fortunate people” and said “they came from a family of giving”.

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