by vivrant thang on the aids crisis


Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

This is my fifth post for the Black blogger call-to-action, Black Blogging to End AIDS. You can find all the posts here.

Over the years, there have been many songs recorded to raise funds for or call attention to the HIV/AIDS crisis.

A cover of “That’s What Friends Are For” was recorded in 1985 by Dionne Warwick and Friends (Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder) to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research. It raised over three million dollars for that cause.

“So working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, seemed the right thing to do. “You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony,” Warwick remembers. “I am tired of hurting and it does hurt,” Dionne Warwick (1988, Washington Post)

Check out this peformance by Dionne, Stevie, Luther, and Whitney. Phenomenal and heart-breaking at the same time.

“Together Again” from Janet’s Velvet Rope album was a tribute by Jackson to friends who had recently passed from AIDS. She originally wrote it as a ballad but changed it to an up-tempo dance track after realizing her friends would have wanted a celebration instead of a sad song. She donated a portion of the proceeds from the song to the American Foundation for AIDS Research also. 

“I believe we have other lives. I don’t believe in the finality of death. I wanted to write about friends who have died of AIDS, but without being mournful or sad. I wanted to celebrate their spirit. I’m pleased that ‘Together Again’ is just that — a celebration, a confirmation that the energy of love will never die,” Janet Jackson

I still remember how ground-breaking it was when in 1992, three attractive women who called themselves TLC, stormed onto the scene in 1992 wearing baggy clothes covered in condoms. Left Eye (RIP) immediately stood out with the condom covering one lens of her glasses. The message was clear and it was an innovative way to get it across. People paid attention.

Check them out in “What About Your Friends” from their debut album Oooooh….On The TLC Tip:

Even when they took off the condoms and became Crazysexycool, they were still spreading the message.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to

Three letters took him to his final resting place.