Fans gather at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit for Aretha Franklin's final visitation


DETROIT – The crowd outside New Bethel Baptist Church broke out into song when Aretha Franklin's shiny gold casket was taken into her father's church.

Residents were excited that their community had not been forgotten, taking the Queen of Soul home.

"I was trying to get down the Charles H. Wright Museum today, but the line was so long," Michelle Harrison said.

"Annually, she had this revival service where she'd bring the quartet groups in, bring a good preacher in, but then she fed the people for all three nights like you would down South," said pastor Robert Smith.

For the past two days, the world has said goodbye to the Queen of Soul, but on Thursday, the goodbyes felt more familial and intimate.

Anne Doyle is a barrier-breaker herself, becoming one of the first women sports journalists in the country.

"I knew her as an incredible performer and I love that she was all about respect for people," Doyle said. "What she did behind the scenes, that she never took credit for, to lift people, to support people. This is a woman who helped her sisters and I'm all about that."

Franklin returned to her roots and to her home -- to the people who loved her even before her music.


About the Authors: