DETROIT — The Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway, part of Detroit’s Lodge Freeway, was dedicated Monday, Aug. 24.
State Rep. Leslie Love, who was instrumental in introducing legislation to name the freeway in honor of the Queen of Soul, was joined by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan Department of Transportation Director Paul Ajegba and members of the Franklin family during the unveiling.
During the ceremony, Aretha Franklin’s granddaughters, Victorie Franklin and Grace Franklin, offered a stirring a cappella rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a hymn written in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson to celebrate the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln. During the ensuing years, the song has become known as the Black National Anthem.