The context we are living in 2020
I sat quietly in shock at the observation of George Floyd being killed on the street by a police officer. I did not want to see the video but I had to look. Because the story being told to me about this incident just did not make sense. And then I watched the video and it still did not make sense to me. Why? Why did this man suffer at the hands of a police officer this way? The people that we entrust with our lives daily. Why did this person who had committed his life to protecting others murder someone so cold-blooded on the street? He was racist. This was the answer of the masses. Ok, the cold-blooded murder that the world watched had been explained as this. Another racist incident in 2020 that sadly has been added to the list of historic race-related incidents of White police officers killing black men. In the middle of being on locked down for months. People losing their jobs and the suicide rate being highest ever. Now, this? It just was yet another occurrence that simply broke my heart and spirit.
I had spent the last few months like everyone with this new normal. And as an artist, I was looking for creative ways to stay motivated. I had lost a contract to play Aretha Franklin in Respect the Musical on tour in the United Kingdom. And all musicals. All of Broadway and the West End in London were shut down. There would be no art. No concerts. No gatherings. I observed other artists online singing from their living rooms. Madonna has called Covid-19 the great equalizer. I did not feel equal to Madonna. I am sure she is very comfortable in her mansion. But as an artist, I kind of felt what she meant. I had this chance to do something with my art to inspire others at a time when we all needed it.
I started to write songs again
So I started to write songs again It was obviously very easy to watch the media every day and listen to how awful everything was. But I also started to see people coming together to make a difference. And unfortunately, I was not seeing a lot of this on the news. I had a friend ask me to write a song about the importance of coming together at this time to help each other. He works for American Power and Gas. A company that has committed to help people during this crisis. When he approached me about writing a song. He did not know that I was definitely looking for a challenge. I was up for a game because the one I had been used to playing had been put on serious hold.
For the last 10 years, American Power and Gas has been a leading energy supplier in the United States. In addition to their partnerships with major charitable foundations including Toys for Tots and Habitat for Humanity, this year AP&G began a partnership with Feeding America. So far, American Power and Gas has donated over a million meals to those in need in New York, Illinois, and other surrounding States.
Jim Bridgeforth, President of AP&G stated:
“We want to do our part to help our country. Americans are strong, we are resilient, and we stand together, so we will get through this. The best way to get through difficult times is to create a better future through art, inspiration, help and hope. So not only will American Power and Gas contribute basics such as meals, but we will also provide positive energy.”
So I got to work. I decided to write a song about the American spirit. I wrote a song to talk about the fact that we as a people are responsible for each other. And there are a lot of people who are stepping up to help each other no matter the race. I see white people helping black people. And black people helping white people. I see people coming together to pull each other through and I have watched myself and others come up with solutions that I never thought possible to survive.
We Stand Together is not just a song. It’s a movement.
We are now feeding Brownsville Brooklyn. My family owns a Church in New York City called The Universal Church of God. We are feeding the community with a food bank there with the help of American Power and Gas who is giving $40,000 to this cause. So you see? We do stand together.
The Stacy Francis Music Arts and Education Foundation has now fed over 55,000 meals to children and families in Cape Town South Africa. As the organization feeds each day in that country I felt the desire to make sure that my own backyard here in New York City where I grew up was also getting the help it needs.
I have committed my life and my art to giving back to people who need help. If you have needed to make a change in your own life and felt this feeling that you do not do enough to help there are ways to make amends for past mistakes. For me, it was giving back and taking a look at the lives of people who are less fortunate than me. Helping others has been so rewarding and it was helped me feel better about myself as a person.
Please download the song
Apple Music: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1519869026
The proceeds from the song will go towards helping feed Americans.
Use the hashtag #standtogethermovement and share it with friends. You can make a difference.