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Not In My Family
Not In My Family
AIDS in the African American Community

Not in My Family is a must read, but not merely as a heart-wrenching collection of moving AIDS memoirs. For perhaps more significantly, this seminal work simultaneously serves as the means of kickstarting candid dialogue about an array of pressing, collateral topics, ranging from homophobia to incarceration to brothers on the down low to low self-esteem to the use of condoms to the role of the Church in combating this virtually-invisible genocide quietly claiming African-Americana.

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.


Title Not In My Family
Subtitle AIDS in the African American Community
Audience 01 General / trade
Title First Published 01 November 2006
Format PDF
Nb of pages 337 p.
ISBN-10 1-57284-621-6
ISBN-13 978-1-57284-621-0
GTIN13 (EAN13) 9781572846210
Main content page count 337
List Price $9.99
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 321 p.
ISBN-10 1932841245
ISBN-13 9781932841244
Publication Date 01 November 2006
Main content page count 321
Dimensions 6 x 9 in.
Weight 17 oz.
List Price $8.80

Additional Materials


Press Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
"give[s] a disturbing portrait of a serious problem."

Library Journal
Edited by journalist and media consultant Robertson, whose brother has HIV, this collection of 58 essays intends to "give voice to the multitude of experiences felt by the African-American community

- Janet A. Crum
Not in My Family is a must read, but not merely as a heart-wrenching collection of moving AIDS memoirs. For perhaps more significantly, this seminal work simultaneously serves as the means

- Kam Williams

A new book [which] boldly tackles the little-discussed relationship between AIDS and Black America's homophobia…a collection of essays and first-person stories from everyday and well-known

Philadelphia Inquirer
As I read… LaBelle became Sharpton became the next writer as each essay bled into the other to present a sobering and often prophetic picture of HIV/AIDS.

- Joseph P. Blake

Pittsburg Post-Gazette
I didn't get around to reading Gil's book until this past weekend. I should've started sooner. It's humbling to be confronted by the specter of one's own

- Tony Norman

The New Orleans Times-Picayune
[Black Americans] might also want to read 'Not In My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community,' a book that was edited by journalist Gil Robertson

Ebony Magazine Review, January 2007
Not in My Family presents powerful stories about a scourge on the African-American community, and offers insight that can likely lead to effective change.”

Upscale Magazine Review, January 2007
"Grips its readers from the opening words...This candid compilation pokes its head into the darkest corners of the

Publishers Weekly, October 2, 2006
"…the full power of this book rises from the personal testimonies of African-Americans writing from varied

Related News

Not In My Family was nominated for a non-fiction award from NAACP. Other nominees include Barack Obama's

Nominated for the 38th NAACP Image Awards' Outstanding Literary Work, Non-Fiction, January 2007

Related Resources features an excerpt from Not In My Family. Read from "Chapter 34: i can't stand the rain" by Ivory Brown.

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