Many questioned why the Minister Louis Farrakhan attended the Homegoing Celebration of Aretha Franklin. Although he wasn’t slated to have words on the funeral program, he sat in the pulpit among other clergy and remained there through the 8 hour celebration.
Aretha Franklin graced the cover of The Nation of Islam’s publication, The Final Call. The cover story shares an official statement from Min. Farrakhan as he shared his admiration.
In 1972, when I was minister in New York City, Temple No. 7, the police attacked our mosque. Within a few hours, Aretha Franklin came to the mosque, to my office, and said that she saw the news and came as quickly as she could to stand with us and offer us her support. She asked me if Rev. Jesse Jackson had been there to show support. I said, not yet. She said, he’ll be here within 48 hours. Rev. Jackson came and stood with the Muslims. We marveled at her show of courage, fearlessness which was rooted in her profound love for her people and her desire for justice for us. Her activism, her selflessness caused her to stand with Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement as she joined the struggle of our people for liberty, equity and justice.
I will cherish her life, her voice, and her soul and remember her with deep and abiding love for what she did for me, our people and for all of humanity who were blessed by her time and service among us.