Known to many as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018. An American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights activist, Aretha Franklin was no stranger to the spotlight. She was revered by many and her music was not only entertaining, but a driving force behind what music culture is today. Her legacy is something worthy of remembrance. The Lofts of Merchants Row, an assortment of luxury apartments in Detroit, understands the role that Aretha Franklin played in making Detroit what it is today. The Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, the same museum that hosted Franklin’s posthumous public visitations, recognizes Aretha Franklin’s immeasurable contributions to our society and culture as a whole, and has created an exhibit titled, Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul in her honor.
Aretha Franklin was a cultural icon. Beginning during the civil rights movement in the 60s, Franklin’s career cannot be summed up into a mere few sentences. However, if one were to define her career using only a few words, the words “power,” “perseverance,” and “hope” come to mind. Her hit song “Respect” mirrored these words and became a battle cry of sorts for equality and freedom. Franklin died without an estate plan in place; according to her niece, however, it was always Franklin’s dream to have a Franklin family museum. The exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum is a step in the right direction towards preserving Franklin’s legacy in a city that she loved.
Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul
Think: A Tribute to the Queen of Soul will occur at the Charles H. Wright Museum located on 315 E. Warren Avenue in Detroit, until January 21, 2019 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day). Acting as a prelude, the exhibit is meant to eventually transform into a larger exhibit that the museum plans to debut in the early months of 2020 with hopes that a museum solely dedicated to Aretha Franklin and her family will soon follow.
The Exhibit’s Features
The exhibit will feature various images and artifacts from Aretha Franklin’s life. The red shoes that she donned during the first funeral viewing, as well as the red dress, will be on display, along with outfits and images from her youth. Her music will be proudly displayed and showcased and various clips of her performances, including her scene from the film The Blues Brothers will be shown to visitors on a large video screen. The museum expects that the exhibit will allow for residual grief and an outpouring of love for the singer. With close to 31,000 people attending her posthumous visitations at the Charles H. Wright Museum, it is likely that the exhibit will be met with the same level of public support.
The museum’s hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 AM – 5 PM and Sundays from 1 – 5 PM. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day and during February, the museum is also open on Mondays from 9 AM – 5 PM. Admission for adults (13-61) is $8, for seniors (62+) is $5, and for youth (3-12) is $5. All museum members and children under three can enter the museum free of charge. Additionally, the museum is located a mere two miles from The Lofts of Merchants Row; yet another added benefit of seeking out loft living in our Detroit luxury apartments.