This video clip was taken in Rushton Park in 1988 during an HIV/AIDS demonstration led by members of Lambda, Inc. A reading of the names of people who passed away from HIV/AIDS were done along with chalk outline of bodies to represent those who had passed. This symbolic act represented the act of violence and murder the organizers felt were committed by the federal government in mismanaging the AIDS crisis.
The Names Project Aids Memorial Quilt was conceived in November of 1985 by long-time San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones. Since the 1978 assassinations of gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, Jones had helped organize the annual candlelight march honoring these men. While planning the 1985 march, he learned that over 1,000 San Franciscans had been lost to AIDS. He asked each of his fellow marchers to write on placards the names of friends and loved ones who had died of AIDS. At the end of the march, Jones and others stood on ladders taping these placards to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building. The wall of names looked like a patchwork quilt.
Check out this list of 4 blocks of Quilt panels from Birmingham, AL. To see the images, visit www.aidsmemorial.org/interactive-aids-quilt.
Then enter the block number in the search bar and enter. You will see a high resolution image of that block, which allows you to zoom in for details.
Birmingham, AL blocks – 1686, 2221, 3986 & 5108
The work of the Invisible Histories Project is made possible by our amazing partners, our financial supporters, and individuals like you. Special thanks go out to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their continued support for the preservation of LGBTQ Deep South history and this project and AIDS Alabama for being the home of the IHP office in Birmingham.