Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community - Book Description At long last, the time has come: the time for African American people to face the scourge that has affected it disproportionately for years, and to break through the cultural inhibitions that have prevented them from dealing with it head on. This landmark collection of personal essays, stories, brief memoirs, and polemics from a broad swath of black Americans-whether prominent figures from the worlds of politics, entertainment, or sports, or just ordinary folks with extraordinary -stories whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS-will galvanize public attention around this issue.
Author and journalist Gil Robertson first conceived this "gripping and heartfelt patchwork," as he calls it, when his older brother was diagnosed with HIV. As he writes in his introduction, "As I've watched my family move through the various stages of his illness and hear similar stories from others, I began to realize that my family was not alone. There are countless other families waging the same fight with this disease, and I wanted to connect with them so we would feel even more so empowered to wage battle."
Robertson has enlisted a remarkable group of contributors to give voice to their impassioned thoughts and feelings. A partial list includes: from politics, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders and Al Sharpton; from music, Patti LaBelle; from film and TV, Mo'Nique, Jasmine Guy, Hill Harper, and Sheryl Lee Ralph; and from letters, Randall Robinson and Omar Tyree-among many, many others. Not in My Family: Songs of Healing and Inspiration - The CD
It has been said that a song will outlive all sermons in the memory. NOT IN MY FAMILY: SONGS OF HEALING AND INSPIRATION is a collection of music that will surely endure in the hearts, souls and memories of the African American community as it continues to battle the devastating effects of AIDS. The CD, a companion piece to the much-praised book "Not In My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community," presents songs from powerful voices in Gospel music including Yolanda Adams, Byron Cage, Kirk Franklin, Natalie Wilson, Walter & Tramaine Hawkins and New Direction. New Direction's "You Can Make It" was recorded specifically for this project and is an impassioned love offering to those personally affected by this disease.
"All of these songs speak to the collective emotions felt when faced with losing a loved one to this disease, or even living with this disease. They represent the role that faith and love must play in our lives to heal the physical and emotional scars of AIDS," says Gil L. Robertson, IV, editor of the book and an executive producer of the CD.
Byron Cage writes "The church is one place we look to for guidance that is without a doubt homophobic. It is unfortunate that the Black church has preached for many years that AIDS is a punishment for gay people. That's just not the case. That's like saying that heart disease is a punishment for obese people who overeat." His essay is entitled "Back to the Basics."
NOT IN MY FAMILY: SONGS OF HEALING AND INSPIRATION offers encouragement, hope and compassion to a community that has been ravaged by AIDS
Track Listing for Not in My Family: Songs of Healing and Inspiration
1. Byron Cage - Lift Him Up
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