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Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.'s Eulogy Not A Hit With Aretha Franklin's Family

Source: ANGELA WEISS / Getty

We said goodbye to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin in a very star-filled and spirted homegoing service. It was a beautiful celebration but it wasn’t void of headassery and the Franklin family has spoken up about it.

Bishop Charles H. Ellis III who held down officiating duties for the service already apologized for being too “hands-on” now it’s Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.’s turn to be called out. The pastor’s ridiculous eulogy that barely mentions Franklin focused on topics like “black-on-black crime,” and black women not being able to raise black boys by themselves.

The irony of Jasper’s comments is that Aretha Franklin was a single mother of four boys leaving some to believe inside the Greater Grace Temple he was taking a shot at the singer.

In the more than 50-minute rant disguised as a eulogy, Jasper seemingly took shots at the Black Lives Matter movement stating: “Black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves.”

His remarks earned him moans and groans and even garnered a magical side-eye from Stevie Wonder who offered a rebuttal to his statements before his performance.

In a statement to the Detroit Free Press, speaking on behalf of the family, Franklin’s nephew, Vaughn Franklin called out the Jasper. He revealed his aunt did not request Jasper to perform her eulogy and the family found the comments to be “offensive and distasteful.” 

Per the Detroit Free Press:

I want to speak on behalf of the Franklin family as it relates to the comments that Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. made on Friday during my aunt’s Celebration of Life service on Friday, August 31. We found the comments to be offensive and distasteful.

Rev. Jasper Williams spent more than 50 minutes speaking and at no time did he properly eulogize her.

My aunt did not ask Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. to eulogize her before she passed away because dying is a topic that she never discussed with anyone.

Our family asked Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. to perform the eulogy because he eulogized our grandfather (Rev. C. L. Franklin), my aunt (Erma Franklin) and my uncle (Cecil Franklin). However, there were several people that my aunt admired that would have been outstanding individuals to deliver her eulogy including Dr. William J. Barber, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Rev. James Holley and Pastor E.L. Branch.

We feel that Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. used this platform to push his negative agenda, which as a family, we do not agree with.

The family of Aretha Franklin felt the pastor didn’t put enough R-E-S-P-E-C-T on her name in his eulogy. We and others wholeheartedly agreed.

We don’t see no lies at all. Unfortunately, Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. still stands by his ill-timed speech, as expected.

Photo: ANGELA WEISS / Getty

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