Aretha Franklin gets respect from the NYC subway
The New York City subway is paying homage to the Queen of Soul.
After Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, impromptu fan tributes began popping up in the Franklin Avenue subway stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Though they were quickly taken down, the images went viral on social media, and the MTA — Metropolitan Transit Authority, the body that manages the subway system — decided to do something more permanent.
On September 1, black-and-white signs reading “Respect” were unveiled at the Franklin Avenue stop on the A/C line in Brooklyn, which serves the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods, and at the Franklin Avenue 1 train stop in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan.
Franklin Avenue in Manhattan is named for founding father Benjamin Franklin.
The timing for unveiling the new “Respect” decals was intentional, chosen to coincide with Franklin’s funeral the same day.
“We wanted to memorialize the outpouring of love from the community for Aretha Franklin,” an MTA spokesperson said in a statement. “In consultation with local leaders, we agreed that ‘respect’ was a beautiful tribute and worthy message.”
And Franklin Avenue isn’t the only Brooklyn subway stop with a connection to music royalty.
Nearby and also on the A/C line, the Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop was the filming location for Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video, directed by Martin Scorsese in 1987.
However, despite multiple proposals and pleas from fans, there’s no plaque or other historical marker in the station commemorating it.
The MTA has a policy against such plaques, which is likely why decals were chosen for the Aretha Franklin tribute.