George Bellinger

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} George Bellinger The year was 1982 and, like most other Black gay men in Washington, D.C., George Bellinger, Jr. wasn’t too worried about the mysterious cases of “gay cancer” popping up in New York City and California. It was in the white gay community, not his own , so why worry? “I fell into …

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Mo’Nique

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Mo’Nique In 1985, she was sitting in a college classroom with her best girlfriend when the professor announced that there was this new disease, one you can only get by coming in contact with a gay man or IV drug users. In 2002, she saw that same best girlfriend die of AIDS. Mo’Nique knows …

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Paris Barclay

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Paris Barclay A film, television, and Broadway director who boasts two Emmys (and four more nominations) atop his lengthy list of industry awards has a lot of accomplishments. But Paris Barclay, whose latest work is with the team that brings us the acclaimed NBC drama series The West Wing, says his greatest achievement has …

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Jewel Thaïs-Williams

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jewel Thaïs-Williams In a city notorious for its fickle tastes, where many are looking for “the next big thing,” one Los Angeles nightclub has been a steady force to be reckoned with for 30 long years. Jewel’s Catch One, owned by Jewel Thaïs-Williams, is a landmark establishment for people “in the life,” a club …

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Helene Gayle

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Helene Gayle Dr. Helene Gayle has seen it all. From the Reagan/Bush era of the 1980s, through the Clinton administration, and on to another Bush presidency, Gayle has plugged away at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1995 to 2001, she directed the agency’s National Center for HIV, STD and …

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Dr. Gail Elizabeth Wyatt

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Gail Elizabeth Wyatt Mention the phrases “Black woman” and “a lucrative career involving sex and sexuality” and one might be tempted to think of actresses and entertainers. Try Ph.D., wife of 40 years, mother of three, author of several books, and blazing pioneer in the AIDS pandemic. “I’ve been a sex researcher at …

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Pernessa Seele

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Pernessa Seele Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician here? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? —Jeremiah 8:22 This is the Bible verse upon which Pernessa Seele founded her organization 12 years ago. While working in Harlem Hospital during the 1980s, Seele was shocked …

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Maxine Waters

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Maxine Waters “This is a national crisis. Our community can wait no longer.” These were the dramatic words voiced by California Congresswoman Maxine Waters in 1998, as she sounded the AIDS alarm. As chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, the fiery Democrat and her colleagues joined with other community leaders and took the dramatic …

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