Monday, July 15, 2024

Freeway of Love: In Detroit, the Great Aretha Franklin Has a Section of Highway Dedicated to Her Memory


Just a few days after the 2nd anniversary of her death, Aretha Franklin received a new honor in Detroit.

A section of the M10 Highway was dedicated in her memory as the Aretha Louise Franklin Highway.  Of there was a line of pink Cadillacs there plus local officials.

Photographer Montez Miller sent me some pictures and posted a few to his Facebook page.

The area is a stretch of the Lodge Freeway between Livernois and I-94, not far from her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church. Guests included sons Edward and Kelf Franklin, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

“From now on, anybody who passes through this city, no matter how briefly, will be reminded that Aretha Franklin came from the great city of Detroit,” said Duggan.

Aretha’s granddaughters sang, and Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” was played as one of the highway signs was unveiled, according to reports. Aretha’s son, Edward, spoke as well.

I know Aretha would be thrilled. She was alive to see another street named Aretha Franklin Way a few years ago. This winter we’ll have two Aretha movie projects: “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, opening in theaters (fingers crossed) on January 15th. And “Genius,” an 8 part mini series starring Cynthia Erivo, will come to National Geographic we hope in December.

Just one PS: I know for a fact that Aretha would be so thrilled about Kamala Harris running for Vice President. Aretha was very political, very liberal, and backed every Democrat who ran for president. I know she’d be excited about Biden and Harris. And Aretha was a former friend of Donald Trump. She often stayed in his hotel on Columbus Circle. But when he announced his candidacy, and began to show his true colors about black and brown people, she moved down the street to the Ritz Carlton and never looked back.


All photos courtesy of Montez Miller

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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