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Delta Hosts Tribute To Aretha Franklin

Delta College will host a tribute to “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin during Black History Month, just six months after the legendary singer passed away.

The Friday, Feb. 8 event will include music, dance and discussion about Franklin and her civil rights activism. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the College’s Atherton Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.

Aided by her rare four-octave voice, Franklin’s music – in particular, the famous “Respect” – epitomizes the civil rights movement.

“She is known worldwide, and we really wanted to pay homage to her. We hope people will come and feel the spirit of Aretha Franklin right here in Stockton,” said James Forte, president of Delta’s African American Employees Association, which is hosting the event along with Delta’s Cultural Awareness Program.

The University of the Pacific is also collaborating with Delta on the tribute and other Black History Month activities.

The Aretha Franklin event includes a performance by R&B artists The Hamiltones. The Delta jazz band will play some of Franklin’s popular tunes, Delta dancers will perform and the fashion program will present a video montage. Speakers will also share thoughts on Franklin’s legacy.

There are other scheduled events at Delta College during Black History Month as well.

Delta’s annual Chicken and Waffle Fundraiser will take place on Thursday, Feb. 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Upper Danner Hall. Money raised will help pay for student scholarships.

A presentation about the Tuskegee Airmen is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the Science and Math Building, Room 273. The children and grandchildren of the Tuskegee Airmen will be the presenters, and will elaborate on the heritage and the struggles that the airmen had to endure fighting for equal rights in the military.