LANSING — Today, the state Senate passed House Bill 4060, introduced by state Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit), which would designate a portion of M-10 the Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway. The stretch of memorial highway would begin near the location of her father’s former church and would end at Interstate 94. The section was chosen as a symbol of her roots and connection with her community, from her humble beginnings at her father’s church to her tremendous international impact.
“It is fitting that during Black Music Month, and in the wake of Juneteenth celebrations, that this bill now goes to the Governor,” Love said. “During this time, when we remember the struggles and successes of our ancestors, and the achievement of creative musical genius, that this serendipitous bill passage occurred. She embodied the very best of our culture and our people. Her music continues to serve as the soundtrack to many of life’s events, and her dedication to her community and social justice can still be felt today.”
Aretha Franklin, though best known for her music and entertainment career, used her platform to create and sustain social change and was a dedicated advocate for the equitable treatment of all. The bill will now be presented to the governor.
“As a Detroiter who grew up off 12th St. and Grand River, I am pleased to co-sponsor a bill that will honor one of the greatest leaders and artists of our time Aretha Franklin,” said state Rep. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit), whose district encompasses a portion of the memorial highway. “Renaming this highway is a small way to honor this giant of American history, one of the most influential Detroiters in this history of mankind – from civil rights marches to the Blues Brothers, from Labor Day rallies at Hart Plaza to President Barack Obama’s Inauguration – the Queen of Soul left her mark on music, popular culture and the struggle for civil rights.”