The Reverend C.L. Franklin, long-time pastor at Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church and father of iconic soul singer Aretha Franklin, has long been regarded as a trailblazing Black clergyman. Now, Cornell University historian Nick Salvatore has written a biography that fully examines the renowned reverend’s legacy. Salvatore will sign Singing In A Strange Land: C.L. Franklin, the Black Church and the Transformation of America (Little, Brown) on February 12, 2005 at New Bethel Baptist Church (8430 C. L. Franklin Blvd.).
While Salvatore’s biography acknowledges Reverend Franklin’s national legacy, the city of Detroit is acknowledging Franklin’s local contributions by declaring August 1 “Rev. C.L. Franklin Day.” The declaration will be commemorated with a ceremony at C.L. Franklin Park. The reverend’s famous daughter will pay tribute to her father and will be joined by national and local officials, civic leaders, members of the city council and celebrities guests will be in attendance. A tea and other events around the commemoration are planned.