Jurnee Smollett

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jurnee Smollett The power of one young girl’s dream. Hydeia Broadbent was an AIDS baby, having contracted the virus from her biological mother. By her fourth birthday, she wasn’t expected to live beyond another year. By her eighth birthday, she was sharing her story at speaking engagements such as the 1996 Republican National Convention, …

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Gloria Reuben

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Gloria Reuben “People who are HIV-positive are getting their lives back.” This honoree is certainly not missing. She played someone in the struggle in the most famous ER on television. More recently, she played a woman living with AIDS in need of Life Support, the story of fellow honoree Andrea Williams (played by Queen …

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Dr. Ron Simmons

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Ron Simmons A woman finds blood in her husband’s underwear but can’t find it within herself to bring it up to her husband. To Dr. Ron Simmons, this is just plain wrong, not to mention symptomatic of a community that has gone in the wrong direction for far too long. But Simmons sees …

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Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton The Faithful Many people who come across Rae Lewis-Thornton might describe her as, educated, attractive, assertive and ambitious. Not the kind of person with HIV running through her veins. But in 1986, at the tender age of 23, Rae organized a blood drive as a way of educating people to …

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Beny Primm

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Beny Primm By the time the AIDS epidemic exploded into American life, Dr. Beny Primm had already spent decades combating the health problems that plague urban communities. He’d been working with drug abusers at New York City’s Harlem Hospital since the early 1960s, watching as addiction corroded his patients’ bodies and lives. “We had …

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A. Cornelius Baker

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} A. Cornelius Baker Imagine discovering something different about your body—a sore throat, a small lump, even something as simple as ashy skin—and believing it could be a sign of imminent death. That was the reality of those infected with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic. It was also the world in which …

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Kimberly Smith

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Kimberly Smith In an uncertain world, dark forces lurk in the shadows, ready to prey on unsuspecting people struggling with AIDS. Sometimes those dark forces lie in wait in places never imagined by an ordinary person. That’s why the world needs people like Dr. Kimberly Smith. “In the late 80s,” says the native of …

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Rev. Dr. Cecil L. Chip Murray

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Dr. Cecil Chip Murray What does the pastor of the oldest Black congregation in Los Angeles have to say to those African-Americans who still don’t believe that AIDS is a major threat to the community? “Denial is a river in Egypt. It could happen to any of us.” Under the leadership of Rev. …

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Sandra McDonald

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sandra McDonald Like all too many Black AIDS activists, Sandra Singleton McDonald started off with almost no resources beyond the passion born from watching loved ones fall ill. Early in the epidemic, the Atlanta, Georgia native was moved by the carnage unfolding from this new virus, and began researching how she could help. She …

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Carl Bean

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Carl Bean Archbishop Rev. Carl Bean doesn’t mince his words, and about the following point, he is absolutely clear. “Love,” he explains, “saved my life.” Growing up in 1950s Baltimore, Maryland, Rev. Bean saw no reason to conceal the fact that he was gay. That decision sent him down a tough road, and at …

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