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Delta Sigma Theta Members Honor Late Soror, Aretha Franklin

Thousands gather to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul

Tamia Heard

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Hundreds of members of Delta Sigma Theta gathered in Charles E. Wright Museum on Tuesday to honor the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, a member of the sorority.

Almost one thousand members from across the country gathered alongside Franklin’s family to pay tribute to the icon in a touching ceremony known as Omega Omega Service. This service is considered the “final act of loyal sisterhood” which includes the readings of bible verses, poems, a performance and a eulogy.

Clothed in all black, pearls and an African violet pendant, Franklin’s sorority sisters reflected on her love for her community, cooking, and of course, her demand for respect.

Franklin was inducted as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta in 1992 for her commitment to bettering the lives of others. National President Beverley E. Smith spoke on how Franklin aligned with the sisterhood. “She was a true, strong Delta and embodied who we are through the songs she sang, through the way she conducted herself and through the boldness she took in terms of social justice,” Smith said.

The Queen of Soul was dressed in all crimson, the signature color of Delta Sigma Theta, as thousands of fans, family, and sorors gathered for the public viewing. At the end of the ceremony, each member of the sorority passed in front of the singer’s gold casket to say their final goodbyes.

Franklin’s funeral service will take place on Friday, August 31 at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. The service will be live-streamed by the Associated Press beginning at 10 AM EST.

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Tamia Heard is a rising senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Tamia is majoring in communication studies with a journalism concentration. As a southern woman, she enjoys Saturday's filled with college football and good food!

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