Rep. Brenda Lawrence says Aretha Franklin taught women valuable lessons

Lawrence speaks during Franklin's funeral in Detroit

DETROIT – U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, speaking at Aretha Franklin's funeral, said the Queen of Soul taught women valuable lessons throughout her life.

"There are so many accolades and amazing accomplishments that Aretha Franklin has received throughout her life," Lawrence said. "I want to talk about a gift she gave me. I want to talk to every woman in this room. It's amazing to me that she has so many friends, because we all feel like we're the special one because she made us feel that way."

Lawrence said when she was elected mayor of Southfield, Franklin called her, said she was proud of her and invited her to an event.

READBill Clinton shares stories of Aretha Franklin at funeral in Detroit

"I said, 'Oh my goodness. Anywhere you want me to be,'" Lawrence said.

She said Franklin showed every woman that they can be strong and confident enough to put their arms around other women. Lawrence said Franklin taught her that life has difficult moments, but she can never give up.

"I am so proud to have known and to share my life with the amazing queen," Lawrence said. "To honor her, Sen. Kamala Harris called me. We said, 'We have to do something.' So on the Senate side, she introduced the Congressional Gold Medal. On the congressional side, I introduced the Congressional Gold Medal. ... The people who have received this, like Robert Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and the first one went to George Washington. The queen deserves this gold medal, and I'm honored to give it to her."

MOREFormer US Attorney General Eric Holder: Aretha Franklin 'moved us and inspired us'

You can watch Lawrence's full remarks in the video posted above.

About the Author: