Skip to content The Roots of African American AIDS Activism: On Dan Royles’s “To Make the Wounded Whole”

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He hopes his book, one of the first works to study this topic, will be received as “a book about African American AIDS activism” rather than “the book on African American AIDS activism.” To Make the Wounded Whole — with its seven case studies on moments in the movement, each detailed, finely researched, and compassionately written — engages in a rich conversation about Black activism within the AIDS epidemic across almost half a century.

“African American AIDS activists participated in this process and used those same discourses to challenge global capitalism, which fueled the inequities that made the AIDS epidemic worse,” he writes of the processes of organization and protest.

“As African American activists confronted AIDS, they aimed to make whole communities that were divided by homophobia, sexism, and classism,” Royles writes.

“Including African American AIDS activism in the larger story of the epidemic also expands our view of political responses to AIDS backward in time,” Royles writes.

The book’s publication coincides with the launch of Royles’s archive project: the African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project, which lives largely online.

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