Racial emotions stirred in Eddy Grant's 'Gimme Hope Jo'anna'
The events last week in Dallas have stirred emotions across America ranging from sadness to anger. The struggle to get along is nothing new and the '80s were no stranger to sorting out divisions. As the discussion continues a voice to remember is Eddy Grant and his cautious plea Gimme Hope Jo'anna.
Best known for rocking us down to Electric Avenue in 1983, Eddy Grant had a worldwide hit in 1988 with Gimme Hope Jo'anna. In the song, Grant wasn't singing about Kool & the Gang's Joanna, but rather Johannesburg. The topic of Gimme Hope is Apartheid and the song tackles the entertainment issues raised in the song (I Ain't Gonna Play) Sun City and the blind eye given to Apartheid by the international community. Gimme Hope Jo'anna was a Top 10 hit in the U.K. and hit No. 1 in several European countries but failed to chart in the U.S. for Grant, who spent his teen years in England after being born in Guyana.
Grant's hope for Johannesburg was realized in 1994, when Apartheid ended with the help of people like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu combined with turning tide of public sentiment.