top of page
  • Stephen L Carter, Sr.

COVID Series Part IV: Marvin Gaye, Masking, and Lollapalooza

Where I Wouldn’t Have Been on July 30, 2021

by Stephen L. Carter, Sr.

I Love me some Marvin Gaye! Love me some Earth Wind and Fire! Love me some Smokey! Love me some Aretha, Stevie, Minnie, Anita, Luther, some Isley, and some Ike, some Frankie, Gladys, and Roberta some - anyone from the Mo-Town Label (age spoiler alert) Johnnie’s named Mathis or Hartman, Tony’s named Bennett, some Spaniels, Moonglows, and El Dorados. But honest to Pete - I would not have accepted FREE tickets to see any of my music heroes at Grant Park during Covid 19 and the potential outbreak of its Delta variant.

I would have said my medical hero, Tony Fauci (yea, I’m on a first-name basis with my guy Dr.Fauci) told me so and not to go; I could have said the bible told me so and not to go; I could have said CDC told me so. But NO, truth-be-told, a vision told me so. I had this vision -based -on all these thousands of non-Black folks packed cheek to cheek to cheeks, mask-less, smokin’ legalized pot, drunk as skunks and inhibitions simply blowin’ in Chicago’s summer wind.

Perhaps it was a shared vision that I sensed Sun-Times columnist, Laura Washington, had experienced and addressed in one of her stellar, post Lollapalooza 2021 columns where she asked the Beautiful Question – WHY did Lolla go forward? I’ll save the Beautiful Answer for the end - just as Ms.Washington did. And I’ll give you a hint. The answer was not – the cliched answer – “…the show must go on!

Initially, this column was envisioned as part of the CURRENT MAGAZINES ongoing series on Covid spread and Covid precautions for the Chicago communities we serve. And I will not digress from that service objective of CURRENT’S ongoing mission – to gather and inform from knowledgeable, integrous leaders and servants of and to our communities.

Integrous servants to our 77 Chicago communities ask, “WHY DID LOLLA GO FORWARD? Integrous leaders brought other honest and fact trained medical professionals to Rainbow PUSH 2021 convention and said some straight-up messages that should be brought to every corner of Chicago’s 77 Communities. Our guy Tony and former Mayor Emanuel’s brother, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, called a spade a spade. They shared with the PUSH audience that “…vaccination is the safest, most effective way to end the coronavirus pandemic.” Straight up, no chaser.

As one who has lost both an older sister and baby brother to Covid over the past 9 months; as one who has been painlessly jabbed twice with the Moderna vaccine; as one of many, who’s family members have also been twice jabbed with no ill effects – I have great reason to believe I can take what Doc Tony and Doc Ezekiel say to The Bank of Little Dispute for deposit.

I have not gathered exact figures for this segment of CURRENT MAGAZINES’ ongoing series on Covid and its impact on Chicago’s 77. Still, I feel safe in passing on what I’ve heard and read from knowledgeable medical professionals. They’ve stated that most Covid deaths are attributed to those who have NOT been vaccinated. I would feel safe to pass that along for the foreseeable future. And to double down on that, we should be encouraging friends and family to get fully vaccinated. I would feel safe to pass along the strong recommendation that we continue following CDC recommendations and our Governors lead on masking indoors. I would suggest that I hope Chicago and Illinois restaurant and entertainment center owners require patrons to show valid proof of vaccination. Not yet a fact, but from what I hear and read from informed resources – NYC may be taking the lead that could effectively limit the spread of Covid and the new Delta variant.

At the beginning of this article, I said that I would provide my version of a Beautiful Answer to the Beautiful Question posed by columnist Laura Washington, “Why did Lolla go forward?” I would answer the question as Deep Throat famously advised Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein – “Follow the money.”

(Feel entitled to comment or exercise vents or praise privileges by snail mail at BlackButterfly, Current Magazines, Kirkwood Business Center, 1940 E.79th St, Chicago, Illinois, 60649 or email at:

bottom of page