Gil4I am so pleased to announce that my good friend and colleague Gil Robertson’s In conjunction with World AIDS Day 2006 (December 1), Agate will release Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community, a revealing anthology edited by lifestyle journalist Gil L. Robertson IV, which explores the effects of HIV/AIDS in the African American community. 

The book’s contributors include the famous and powerful such as award-winning singer Patti Labelle, US House Rep. Barbara Lee, former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph to everyday people like Petra Johnson, a retired teacher and grandmother from Lansing, Michigan. However, regardless of who they are, they all represent a patchwork in a quilt of essays that express a wide cross-section of ideas, values and beliefs.  Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community, provides a forum for individuals and families to come out of the shadows and share their fears, isolation, pain and triumph in dealing with the reality of HIV/AIDS.

With support from various HIV/AIDS organizations throughout the country, Robertson plans extensive touring to deliver the book’s message.

He says, “The essays presented in this book remind us of the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS has had on communities of color.  People, young and old, are dying and yet the Black community has by and large stood by and let it happen. Not anymore.  The HIV/AIDS pandemic is one of the most striking developments of this century and this book will help society understand how and why it has so severely impacted the Black community.”

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.

I am looking forward to the release of this book and I hope that you will add this book to your list of books to read.

Congrats Gil and thanks for doing this.