Aretha Franklin’s family says eulogy was offensive

Revered Jasper Williams claimed “black America has lost its soul” during the late singer’s funeral.

September 04, 2018
Aretha Franklin’s family says eulogy was offensive Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. speaks at Aretha Franklin's funeral at Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.   Angela Weiss/Getty

Aretha Franklin's family have issed a statement criticizing the eulogy Revered Jasper Williams Jr. gave at the late singer's funeral last week. The Atlanta clergyman delivered a wide-ranging sermon during the August 31 funeral in which he claimed "black America has lost its soul." He described households without a family figure as being akin to "abortion after birth" while he also stated: “Until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves, black lives can never matter.”

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Franklin's family were not happy with what Williams said on the day. “It has been very, very distasteful,” Franklin's nephew Vaughn Franklin told AP News in a statement on behalf of the family. “He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her.”

Responding to the report, Williams told AP News, “I understand it. I regret it. But I’m sorry they feel that way.”

Aretha Franklin’s family says eulogy was offensive