A four-day celebration of Aretha Franklin begins today in her hometown of Detroit. Her funeral will take place on Aug. 31.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. As a Black girl in segregationist Virginia, I did not yet know “feminism” or “Black power” but I knew her song and how to spell its title. Like just about anyone under 60, I can’t remember a time when Aretha Franklin’s music was not woven into my life story, a familiar and often empowering thread.