New York Today: Aretha Franklin’s New York

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And Finally…

Aretha Franklin’s loss of life touched many residents within the New York space, a lot of whom recalled seeing her in individual or what she meant to them personally. Here are a couple of of the feedback we obtained:

“My most recent memory is this past February. My mom was in at-home hospice and we were listening to Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace’ album as we wrote down the menu and playlist for her celebration of life when she passed.”

— Aliya Frazier, 46, Inwood

“Aretha Franklin was the definition of blackness. From her singing at the funeral of M.L.K. to ‘the hat’ at the first Obama inauguration to singing for Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors (but not before going back offstage to get her pocketbook, which she safely placed on the grand piano where she could watch it). She defined me, a black gay man, and she defined my entire family.”

— Wesley Rowell, 57, Jersey City

“Aretha Franklin was more than just music, she was pure life with a fight worth going for. She impacted every audience from African-Americans to women to aspiring musicians to everyday people. ”

— Francis Asprec, 33, Park Slope, Brooklyn

“As an African-American growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, Aretha was a powerhouse as a role model for teens like me who aspired to a career in music. I will always remember her singing ‘Natural Woman’ at the Kennedy Center Honors for Carole King. Thank you, Aretha, for giving all of us, especially African-American women, your music and, equally important, your example of acting with grace and demanding ‘Respect!’”

— Boreta Singleton, 59, the Bronx

“Aretha will be schooling the cherubs and seraphim. May she rest.”

— André M. Corona, 34, South Ozone Park, Queens

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