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Posted December 17, 2006
NOT IN MY FAMILY: AIDS IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY, edited by Gil L. Robertson, a journalist whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, is a landmark collection of essays that gives testament to the devastation of AIDS in Black America. The statistics are indisputable: African-Americans are withstanding the worst of the AIDS epidemic in America. In NOT IN MY FAMILY, Blacks from all walks o life attempt to address the matter by answering questions such as: How can the nation transcend cultural barriers to address the devastation? And how can the Black community combat HIV/AIDS when denial has surrounded the disease for so long? The collection includes essays from entertainers Patti LaBelle, Mo'Nique and Hill Harper best-selling authors Randall Robinson and Omar Tyree political leaders Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and former US Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and religious leaders that include the Rev. AL Sharpton and the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III. Butts, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, writes a poignant portrait of a young woman who contracted the disease from her drug-abusing spouse. 'I told her that AIDS is a disease that can be contacted like other diseases,' Butts writes. 'I also said, `hold firm to the truth, God Loves you.' Butts also addresses changing attitudes within the church about the disease and how it is contacted. 'While I would not include myself among those leaders with in the Black church who have been callous to members suffering from AIDS, I have made some errors along the way. In that way, I am no different from any of us. Of course, as a minister and community leader, I am particularly concerned about what I say and the image I project...' NOT IN MY FAMILY presents powerful stories about a scourge on the African American community, and offers insight that can likely lead to effective change.
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Posted December 17, 2006
Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community grips its readers form the opening words. This collection of personal essay by numerous celebrities including Mo¿Nique, Byron Cage, Patti LaBelle and Sheryl Lee Ralph, Randall Robison, Omar Tyree, Hill Harper, Jasmine Guy and Rev. Al Sharpton is edited by Gil L. Robertson IV and explores the debilitating disease that has quietly ravage countless families in the black community. This candid compilation pokes its head into the darkest corners of the African-American psyche and experience. A black woman faced with the infection of her beloved drug-abusing bisexual husband and a swinging corporate America nephew recalls the connection, crisis and journey of those within his own family. The account of Mr. Marcus,, the highly popular adult film star, who feel compelled to have sex on camera after being recruited in Las Vegas, reveals the historical wounds that his family¿s legacy inflicted upon him. Robertson weaves personal and heart-wrenching experiences that shed light on the dire need that exists throughout the African Diaspora. This anthology should be ¿used to stop the enemy in his tracks,¿ as Robertson prescribes. Not in My Family is a guide and an icebreaker. It is thought provoking, sincere and heartfelt. It is necessary.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.