The AIDS Capital of the World
This chapter begins with the story of Belle Glade, Florida, a farming community near Lake Okeechobee that was known for a brief period in the 1980s as the “AIDS Capital of the World” due to its high per capita AIDS rate. The AIDS epidemic in Belle Glade, which mainly affected poor people of color and migrant workers, and was spread through heterosexual sex and drug use, was a harbinger of things to come, as the disease would “settle” in disenfranchised communities in the U.S. South. This chapter then goes on to trace an overview of African American AIDS activism, including its connection to ideas about Black identity within the African diaspora, and to explain how the book as a whole fits into ongoing conversations about AIDS history, the Black freedom struggle, and Black internationalism.
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