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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence Bill Renaming Detroit Post Office After Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, Signed into Law

January 6, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – 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 yesterday. 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 Avenue.

“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. “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 Reverend C.L. Franklin. Reverend Franklin became the minister at Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church where Aretha began singing on Sunday mornings.

At the age of 17, Aretha moved to New York to pursue a successful singing career that netted 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.

Although most of America remembers her as the “Queen of Soul,” she also 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. Aretha Franklin passed at the age of 76 in 2018.