Remembering Time Spent in St. Thomas, US. Virgin Island During the Massive USA for Africa…

Now this here is a classic moment! Remembering time spent in St. Thomas, US. Virgin Island during the massive USA for Africa humanitarian campaign. It was an infectious and uplifting time, where each Saint Thomian felt we had the need to do something and we did!

Watch a 1980’s, USA for Africa rehearsal turned into a Harry Belafonte tribute moment… his signature songs. So many of them are no longer here with us. Let us enjoy and celebrate those who are still here! (RIP) Harry.

1985, was the last summer spent working and studying in St. Thomas, US., Virgin Islands, before relocating to the mainland US. I’d already been living here on and off three years prior, since disembarking off my last of 16 ships and saying goodbye to sea life for good… I was then twenty-six. St. Thomas being a cool crowded downtown joyful place, like most places in America, was also plagued with massive traffic jams during the evening rush hours. Most hotels and restaurants throughout the downtown area, served happy hour specials, hosting great live music and delicious foods, such as wings, Johnny cakes, fried fish, meatballs, ribs, etc.

Music video by U.S.A. For Africa performing We Are the World. USA For Africa

As the USA for Africa campaign took off, the generous people of the Virgin Islands, saw an opportunity to be creative in their contribution, almost every band on the island, learned this beautiful, meaningful, collective song and it became more of a national anthem. More importantly, Windward Passage Hotel, French Man’s Reef, and several other establishments gathered some of their guests, and local patrons, who’d then donated money to join with others and sing this beautiful song in a choir-like setting, just as Quincy Jones and rest of producers had done on the live set, with all of these world renown famous, global superstars, while creating the powerfully uplifting videos, that’ll forever change music.

The downtown Sparky’s restaurant, the famous rock bar, Green House on the waterfront, and other businesses on the island ran specials and collected donations, while most people no longer worried about the traffic jams, nor drove uphill into the countryside. Our main concern now, was rather, what was the best spot, best happy hour, and best choir of people to gather with that evening to get together to sing in unison, “We are the world, we are the children!”

Such beautiful, uplifting, infectious moments, where all Virgin Islanders felt we had the duty and the need to do something greater than ourselves, and we did! Sweet memories!

Indeed, “We are the world!”

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