Sky News:-  The family of Aretha Franklin say they were caught off guard by the eulogy delivered at her funeral, calling it “distasteful”.

Franklin’s eulogy was delivered by the Reverend Jasper Williams Jr, who had spoken at other memorials for family members, including her father, CL Franklin.

But his political address proved controversial, as he made statements including “black lives do no matter”, unless black people “stop killing each other” and said a home without a father was like “abortion after birth”

Rev Williams Jr also said black women cannot “raise black boys to be black men”, a comment deemed inappropriate by many as Franklin raised four boys as a single mother.

In a statement, Franklin’s nephew Vaughn said: “He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogise her.

“It has been very, very distasteful.”

He added the eulogy “caught the entire family off guard” and said they had not discussed what would be said beforehand.

Mr Franklin said the family felt the other speakers had been “respectful”.

But Rev Williams Jr has been somewhat defiant, saying he was misunderstood.

He said: “I understand it. I regret it. But I’m sorry they feel that way.”

The reverend, who is the pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, faced resistance during the funeral, as Stevie Wonder shouted “black lives matter” when he took the stage.

Rev Williams Jr told the Associated Press he felt his sermon had been appropriate, following other references to the civil rights movement and Donald Trump during the service.

He also said his comments on raising children and the Black Lives Matter movement had been “taken out of context”.

He added: “I think Stevie Wonder did not understand what I said.

“I said blacks do not matter, because black lives cannot matter, will not matter, should not matter, must not matter until black people begin to respect their own lives.

“Then and only then will black lives matter.”

It is the second time the funeral service has been mired in controversy, after the bishop leading the ceremony apologised for appearing to grope Ariana Grande, and for suggesting her name sounded like a menu item at Taco Bell.

1 COMMENT

  1. Well, he’d never get as big of an audience as that to listen to his political stance, he just had to seize the opportunity.

    What he says about black people is right though, we need to tone down the aggressiveness and exercise a bit more thoughtfulness in our actions. We need to read more too.

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