The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was created in November 1985 by Cleve Jones, a gay right activist and outstanding leader. Jones was disheartened to realize over 1,000 people had lost their live to AIDS and decided they had to do something to honor and remember them. Cleve along with fellow marchers wrote the names of their lost loved one and friends on placards and taped them onto the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building.
The sight of all these names caused Mr. Jones to create quilts for each person so that they could show these memorials on a larger scale. During this time there was still a lot of stigmatism attached to HIV and AIDS and this was the perfect way to keep loved one’s memories alive and unforgotten. By June of 1987 they were receiving quilts from people in U.S cities this disease struck hard. The support they got for this movement is both shocking and awe-inspiring.
I feel what a lot of people overlooked was that this disease was not bias to a certain race, age or gender and the effects of it were disastrous. Women, men, children and teens all lost their live to this horrendous disease and I am glad someone took initiative to acknowledge and shine a light on their lives.
Here is an example just to show you just how beautiful and heart breaking these quilts really are. I am excited to venture deeper into this project and learn more about the individuals connected to them.