As we celebrate the life and legacy of the late Aretha Franklin, we find now is a time to be our blackest selves. An anointed child of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, it makes sense the iconic artist was given fully Baptist homegoing.

Held at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, the Friday event was attended by star-studded guests and presenters such as Smokey Robinson, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Caesar, Gladys Knight and others, according to Vulture.  

First thing's first, let's just preface this by confirming the blackest and churchiest moment of the whole ceremony is that it did not end on time despite its well-planned schedule:

But, did anyone really think the program would be honored point-for-point? Again, this is a black Baptist church, folks. Get comfy. 

Other black church moments of note include:

1. That Praise Break

Raise your hand if you have to stand up and shout, too! They were on that good foot! 



Reverend Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson's Speeches

"She said, 'Well right after you get through the Golden Gates, there's an exchange counter. That's where you hand in your cross and pick up your crown,'" the reverend said of the queen.

YAS, lay down those burdens, chile! 

Also, Sharpton acknowledged flubbing R-E-S-P-E-C-T on television, and flipped it around to throw shade at Trump:

“I want y’all to help me correct President Trump, to teach him what [respect] means,” he said.

Oh, and in reference to the way the president "paid respects" to Franklin by noting she "worked for him?" Sharpton also had set that record straight, telling the president: "She performed for you. She worked for US. Aretha never took orders from nobody but God."



Similar to Reverend Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson wasn't here for Trump's "worked for me" comment, and had to make it clear how far the president had he stepped out of line by referring to commander-in-chief as an "orange apparition."

Michael Eric Dyson called Trump a "lugubrious leach." 

GOODNIGHT. #ArethaHomegoing

— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) August 31, 2018


Plus, Dyson gave Detroit its proper tribute by shouting out local treats you can only find in the D. So black.

3. The Clark Sisters

— Trevor???? (@RadioLamb) August 31, 2018

The look on Bill Clinton's face said it all. Yes, what they did was THAT. 


4. Shirley Caesar 

From the moment Lady Caesar did that Holy Ghost shake, we knew it was ON.

— Lattesworldxoxo (@LaTanae) August 31, 2018

She had mamas getting up out their seat, naturally.

Pastor Reprimanded Congresswoman Debbie Dingell For Her (Lack Of) Rhythm  

Let's talk about the moment the pastor called out Senator Debbie Dingell for her mediocre praise during one of the worship songs, noting she was clapping on the one and three, urging sis to get on that two and four. 

6. Everyone Side-Eyeing Ariana Grande's Dress

When she strutted onto the stage to belt out "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" in honor of the Queen of Soul, we couldn't help but notice the length of her dress. It was way above her knee the auntie in all of us jumped OUT. No "beautiful gowns" moment for you, young sis.

“When I saw Ariane Grande on the program, I thought it was something new on Taco Bell," noted Bishop Charles H. Ellis III. 


7. Jesse Jackson's Reaction To Faith Hill 

There's nothing more black and more churchy than elder shade. Allow us to present to you, the Reverend Jesse Jackson:

— PrEPpa Pig (@LordeFranzia) August 31, 2018

8. Cicely Tyson's Hat

As anyone who saw President Obama's inaugeration knows, no one can do a hat the way Aretha Franklin could do a hat. But that didn't stop Cicely Tyson from going peak church hat, bless her heart:

9. Chaka Khan And Her Fan

As soon as Chaka Khan got up to sing, the whole church knew she'd channel that diva energy to bring the house down. What no one was ready for, however, was Khan's transcendent use of a staple black church accessory as a fashionable and functional music stand. We stan:

10. Maxine Waters 

Pastor decided to shout out Representative Maxine Waters for her grace under the pressure of being "attacked like never before," referencing the death threats and presidential bullying she has received.

To acknowledge the peak black love and support, Representative Waters responded with one of the most popular signs of today. 

Adding in a little Wakanda in her worship! Wakanda Forever, even in the afterlife. 

11. Fantasia 

Prior to Fantasia taking the stage, a short clip of her rehearsal had us all more than ready to receive her vocal blessings. 

And then, the moment happened. 

In peak Fantasia fashion, she took off her shoes, because, as she said, "I think [Aretha] won't mind."  The she went OFF.


12. Jennifer Hudson

There were a few unfortunate sound issues throughout the service, BUT JHud. No sound issue can silence her voice. The sheer black pain and passion behind her runs gave folks goosebumps. 

Jennifer Hudson belting out Amazing Grace at Aretha's funeral is the greatest gift we could all ever hope to receive

— Madison Mills (@MadisonMills22) August 31, 2018

13. Barack Obama's Letter

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 31, 2018

In the letter, the 44th president accurately described Aretha's voice as guiding the "downtrodden" by adding in a "little love."

"We'll be saying a little prayer for you," read the letter.


Rest in peace, Queen Aretha. Long live the black church. Amen. 

Live coverage of #ArethaHomegoing is below:

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