Maya Rockeymoore, Ph.D.
Maya Rockeymoore, Ph.D.,
AFRICAN AMERICANS CONFRONT A PANDEMIC:
ASSESSING COMMUNITY IMPACT, ORGANIZATION, AND ADVOCACY
IN THE SECOND DECADE OF AIDS, in State of Black America (2002)
the historic struggle for equal access and equal opportunities for
minorities in the
has been influenced by the early dominance of white men of means, so has
the modern fight for equal opportunity in AIDS treatment, service, and
prevention. Early advocates
for minority communities hard hit by the epidemic confronted the
inadequacy of policy models designed to assist white gay men of means.
These models would prove to be inappropriate for helping
communities of color curb the spread of AIDS.
Combined with a host of complicating factors like poverty,
substance abuse problems, and exclusion from social insurance programs,
African American and Hispanic communities have been placed at a distinct
disadvantage in their efforts to ward off the spread of AIDS.
Despite these challenges, a nascent AIDS lobby indigenous to the
African American community organized in the 1990s to combat the challenges
presented by the epidemic. Their
mobilization and activism served as a catalyst for engaging political
leaders on Capitol Hill and their expertise on the issues faced by African
Americans with AIDS formed the basis for the CBC AIDS Initiative.
the political maturity of minority AIDS community based organizations
comes at a time when mainstream media, political leaders, business
leaders, and other opinion leaders have become increasingly focused on the
international AIDS crisis. With
an estimated 40 million people infected with the HIV world wide, the
challenges presented by AIDS abroad are enormous.
The egregious infection rates in African countries illustrate a
global disenfranchisement of poor people of color.
In order to prevent mass annihilation of Africans throughout the
Diaspora, it is probable that the next phase of political activity will
focus on developing a global agenda that links the issues faced by black
and brown people in the
with those faced by black and brown people in the international arena.