Presentations

American Historical Association 2014: “Still ACTing UP: Philadelphia AIDS Activism into the 21st Century”

Description: Short presentation on the connections between ACT UP Philadelphia‘s local AIDS activism and global HIV/AIDS treatment efforts during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Delivered as part of a roundtable discussion organized by the Committee on LGBT History of the American Historical Association.

The American Racial State in the Long Twentieth Century (University of Michigan): “Don’t We Die Too?”: Race and AIDS in the City of Brotherly Love

Description: Paper delivered at the University of Michigan history department’s graduate conference. This paper describes the tensions between established, white gay AIDS service providers and African American AIDS activists as the extent of the AIDS epidemic among the city’s communities of color became clear during the middle of the 1980s, leading to the establishment of Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues (BEBASHI), the nation’s first black AIDS service organization.

Organization of American Historians 2013: “Imagined Alliances: Anti-Globalization Politics and African American AIDS Activism”

Description: Paper delivered at the Organization of American Historians annual meeting as part of a panel on HIV/AIDS in communities of color in the United States. This paper describes the history of ACT UP Philadelphia as the group’s membership shifted during the middle of the 1990s from one of predominantly gay white men to one with a majority of people of color—most of them HIV-positive African Americans from the city’s low-income neighborhoods.

Radically Gay: “‘Black Men Loving Black Men Is the Revolutionary Act of the 1980s’: Gay Men of African Descent and Black Gay Men’s AIDS Activism”

Description: Presentation delivered at Radically Gay: The Life & Visionary Legacy of Harry Hay as part of a panel titled “HIV/AIDS Politics Past and Present.” This presentation looks closely at Party, a thirty-minute HIV education film produced by the New York group Gay Men of African Descent, to tease out larger themes that run through black gay men’s AIDS activism.

James A. Barnes Conference 2012: “‘We’ve Been Doing This for a Few Thousand Years’: the Nation of Islam’s African AIDS Cure”

Description: This paper describes the grassroots efforts of the Nation of Islam to win an NIH-backed clinical trial for Kemron, and AIDS drug from Kenya. The Nation’s spokesmen situated Kemron as a holistic, Afrocentric AIDS remedy that would be effective among African Americans because of its purported African origins. However, their claims about Kemron as a naturopathic African AIDS cure obscured the drug’s origins in advanced biotechnology and globalized pharmaceutical research and production.

WUSTL Graduate History Conference: “Arthur Ashe’s Body Politics”

This presentation begins to explore Arthur Ashe’s post-tennis career through the lens of “athletic respectability,” examining how he fashioned himself as an athletic race man invested in cultivating young race men and women in a post-Civil Rights, post-Black Power America.

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