S. Velvet Noose: Marsha Ambrosius’ Video a Disservice to Black Men with HIV/AIDs
Back in yesteryear, Janet taught us there could be no revolution with out baile (dance). Undoubtedly, Lady Gaga and Janelle Monae have added their twenty-first century and twenty-second century flare, respectively, to the socially conscious dance movement. Marsha Ambrosius has another vantage point on where the revolution will take place. The 33-year-old Liverpool, England native and previous librarian released her solo debut, Late Night & Early Mornings, on March 1st, 2011. The album is heavy on the harmonies, Prince-inspired 808s and high pitch squeals, and as the grown folks say:” baby making music.” If you have not had sex to
“Your Hands,” “With You,” or the title track, you must be living under a rock, or “doin the grown up” to the likes of Chris Brown and Trina (the latter not being so bad). And this is where the revolution is: it is in the rhythm you bring to your hips in between the sheets.
The video for the title track “Late Nights and Early Mornings” features two heterosexual couples (you need this clarification if you’ve seen the “Far Away” video): one with two HIV negative individuals and the other with a HIV negative woman and the man is HIV positive. The negative couple uses a condom, and they remain negative. The other couple does not use a condom and the virus is transmitted from the man to the woman. While I commend Ambrosius’ effort to be a socially conscious artist, she takes steps back with this ill-fated concept.
Ambrosius’ video for LN & EM perpetuates the notion that HIV positive men are continuing to be reckless in the knowledge of their HIV and continuing to endanger the lives of Black women. I only thank (insert your deity here) that she did not show the HIV positive man with another man before his sexual encounter with the young woman (as if Oprah and J.L. King have not already cemented that notion in our consciousness). Would it have not been more powerful to show a negative-positive couple engaging in safe sex? The aforementioned scenario would have shown there are individuals that are responsible with their virus and/or disease and you can have healthy sexual lives with other positive or negative people.
Again, I commend Ambrosius for stepping up to the bat when it comes to controversial topics; however, she bunted when she should have hit it out of the park. HIV/AIDS education and prevention is one America, especially Black America, has to get visually and linguistically correct if stigma is to be erased, which will lead to the the corralling of said HIV/AIDS. Ambrosius should have taken note from an early 1990s girl group where a woman got her band name for simply wearing a condom on her left eye.
Learn more about the writer at http://www.svelvetnoose.com and twitter.com/svelvetnoose
His debut Litrary Mixtape “I’m a Nobody–Too” drops August 2nd.