The African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project captures the stories of people who have fought the spread of HIV and AIDS in African American communities, whether through protest, service provision, or policy work. Although racial disparities in U.S. AIDS epidemic have been clear since at least the middle of the 1980s, the impact of the disease on black communities has received scant attention. Similarly, the important work that African Americans (along with some white allies) have done to combat the AIDS epidemic in their communities has gone almost completely untreated in academic and popular literature on AIDS activism in the United States. The African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project aims to fill that silence by producing a set of interviews that will be available to scholars and the public at Temple University’s Urban Archives.
This project is the work of Dan Royles, who serves as project director, lead interviewer, and sometime transcriptionist. His forthcoming dissertation, “Don’t We Die Too?: the Political Culture of African American AIDS Activism” draws on many of the interviews conducted as part of this project, and similarly aims to incorporate the work of black individuals and communities into the emerging historiography on AIDS in the United States.
The African African AIDS Activism Oral History Project was recently funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Check out the project page here.
Banner photo: ACT UP Philadelphia
Photo credit: Kaytee Riek