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Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community [NOOK Book]


In this landmark collection of personal essays, stories, brief memoirs, and polemics, a broad swath of black Americans unite to bear witness to the devastation AIDS has wrought on their community.  Not in My Family marks a new willingness on the part of black Americans?whether prominent figures from the worlds of politics, entertainment, or sports, or just ordinary folks with extraordinary stories ? to face the scourge that has affected them disproportionately for years. Editor Gil Robertson has enlisted a ...
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Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community

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In this landmark collection of personal essays, stories, brief memoirs, and polemics, a broad swath of black Americans unite to bear witness to the devastation AIDS has wrought on their community.  Not in My Family marks a new willingness on the part of black Americans—whether prominent figures from the worlds of politics, entertainment, or sports, or just ordinary folks with extraordinary stories — to face the scourge that has affected them disproportionately for years. Editor Gil Robertson has enlisted a remarkable group of contributors, including performers like Patti LaBelle, Mo’Nique, and Hill Harper; bestselling authors like Randall Robinson and Omar Tyree; political leaders like Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders; religious leaders like Rev. Calvin Butts, and many, many more.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reflecting on the diagnosis of a husband, the loss of a friend or the survival of a mother, the 58 first-person narratives collected here give voice to bald statistics, such as that AIDS is the #1 killer of black women between the ages of 24 and 34. The writers include a "woman living luxuriously in the suburbs of Los Angeles," a man who "found excitement in the orgy scene," someone who "discovered [his] own feelings for AIDS through other people" and another who can "hardly remember what it was like not to have HIV." Famous voices, such as Al Sharpton, Patti LaBelle and Randall Robinson, as well as four congressional representatives are here, but the full power of this book rises from the personal testimonies of African-Americans writing from varied sexual, gender, class and lifestyle perspectives. This passionate collection is strengthened by William Yarbro's context-setting essay and highly practical advice from Jocelyn Elders, Herndon Davis and Dyana Williams. "Having watched countless accounts of the virus's impact on the African American community," Robertson writes, "I was dismayed by how few African Americans were an active part of this dialogue." Not any longer: those voices are loud and clear. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Edited by journalist and media consultant Robertson, whose brother has HIV, this collection of 58 essays intends to "give voice to the multitude of experiences felt by the African-American community living in the age of HIV and AIDS." Essay after essay presents the grim statistics, but nearly all go beyond the numbers, featuring personal stories, advice, and calls to action. Contributors represent a variety of viewpoints and experiences and include preachers, entertainers, writers, activists, and patients and their families. Some are famous (e.g., Rev. Al Sharpton, former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders), while others are simply ordinary people whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS. Though the collection includes diverse perspectives on how to address the epidemic, information about HIV/AIDS is presented accurately; all of the essays approach the subject with compassion rather than judgment or intolerance. Taken together, these essays send a powerful message: take care of yourselves, take care of one another, and speak out. Appendixes include a glossary and lists of HIV/AIDS hotlines and testing facilities. Highly recommended.-Janet A. Crum, Oregon Health & Science Univ. Lib., Portland Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A compilation of 58 short essays and one poem from a broad spectrum of African-Americans giving their opinions, reactions and counsel on the subject of HIV and AIDS. Robertson prefaces this uneven collection with a statistics-laden introduction that reveals the extent of the problem in this country: e.g., AIDS deaths are 10 times higher among African-Americans than among Caucasians; about two-thirds of the reported cases of AIDS in women and children are African-American. Some of the contributors, like Robertson, whose older brother has AIDS, write of the impact of having a family member with the illness. Others, like Robertson's brother, write of their personal experience with it. Then there is the perspective of political and social leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who write more impersonally of what needs to be done to deal with the problem. Robertson includes AIDS activists, lawyers and clergymen professors, and he has sought out writers, editors and performers, including a TV talk show host, a porn star, a soul singer and a comedian. Gay and straight men, married and single women, the young and the not-so-young-all have their say. The writing consequently varies from formal and didactic to uninhibited street talk. Among the issues addressed are the perils of dating and marriage; homophobia and denial about homosexuality, especially in religious communities; safe and risky sex; the emotional toll of having the disease or loving someone who has it. A surprising number of the men speak of Magic Johnson's announcement that he had been infected as the event that abruptly changed their disregard of HIV and AIDS as the problem of gay white men. Robertson has included someappendices intended to be useful: a glossary of terms that may be encountered in discussions with a physician, health worker or social worker; phone numbers of hotlines and the location of testing facilities throughout the country. A collection of disparate, often repetitive pieces that, taken as whole, give a disturbing portrait of a serious problem.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572846210
  • Publisher: Agate
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 492,349
  • File size: 464 KB

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2006

    Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2006

    Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community

    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.

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