Vanity Fair's new issue is out in stores today, and it includes not only one, but 20 beautifully photographed covers by Annie Leibowitz (one of my heroes back in Photography class at Carver).
Check out the website to see the full collection of covers. (Props to Racialicious.)
A lot of buzz is going around on what the underline meanings are of these photos, and if you see them individually (especially the Madonna & Maya Angelou one) I could see some people's points. You see Madonna, leaning into Maya Angelou, whispering something in her ear, and gripping Ms. Angelou's arm rather strongly as it seems. It gives off this, as someone else put it, "white man is the only hope" sorta feel.
But once I went to the actual website and saw the photos that Leibowitz put together, in their original chronological order, it all made sense to me.
Not one person in these photos is above the rest. Each and every single one of the celebrities/activists/politicians are spreading the word. The word about AIDS, about Africa, about humanity in general.
This goes way beyond the conflict of black vs. white - there is immense suffering, and hunger over in Africa, which is not that far away from the US by any means. Not to say that there is any superior thing that I have done to save Africa, but I definitely agree with Bono when he says: "Do you think an African mother cares if the drugs keeping her child alive are thanks to an iPod or a church plate? Or a Democrat or a Republican? I don't think that mother gives a damn about where that 20-cent pill comes from, so why should we. It can lead to some uncomfortable bedfellows, but sometimes less sleep means you are more awake."
So follow Bono's word. One, because U2 is the shiet. Two, because it's Bono, c'mon...who doesn't listen to Bono?