Syracuse, N.Y. – The Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) and Syracuse University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will salute the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, with a panel discussion and concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the CFAC, 805 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.
Franklin, who died in August at age 76, was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During her six-decade career, Franklin sold more than 75 million records worldwide and earned 18 Grammy Awards.
“Her voice was a treasure. It broke down barriers and unified people from all backgrounds,” said CFAC Education Director Tamar Smithers. “Aretha Franklin provided the soundtrack for both the Civil Rights and Women’s movements.”
Friday’s tribute is free and open to the public. Here are the details:
Aretha Franklin Tribute
(panel discussion and concert)
6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30
Community Folk Art Center, 805 E. Genesee St., Syracuse
Panelists: Jackie Grace, author, storyteller, educational consultant and motivational speaker; Joan Hillsman, director of the Syracuse chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, and a prominent teacher-scholar and performer; Janis Mayes, associate professor of African American Studies (AAS) in Syracuse University’s College of Arts & Sciences, and an author, literary critic and translator, and Africana literature specialist; Juhanna Rogers, motivational speaker, commentator, artist and education activist; The Reverend Phil M. Turner, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Syracuse; James Gordon Williams, assistant professor of AAS and a pianist, composer and critical musicologist; and Roosevelt “Rick” Wright Jr., professor emeritus of television, radio and film in Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
An audience Q&A about Franklin’s impact on music, activism, spirituality and community service will follow the panel discussion.
Concert: An hour-long set by the local Brownskin Band. “Brownskin draws on decades of jazz, hip-hop, funk and dance to create a high-octane show. They know how to gain the ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ of the audience,” Smithers said in a nod to Franklin’s signature song.
Sponsors: The tribute is co-sponsored by CFAC and OMA, with support from AAS, the Department of Women & Gender Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, and the university’s Student African-American Society.