A Diversifying Hollywood. Finally

It has taken a long time. And they are late, but Hollywood has finally produced a film that portrays Africa in a positive, in fact very good light. It is a fictional African country of course, but it is a step forward. The American actor Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther. The Black Panther is the superhero protector of Wakanda, a fictional country somewhere between Ethiopia, Sudan, The DRC, and Kenya.

The Black Panther is in the same universe as some of the other well-known Marvel super heroes, The Avengers and the X-Men. To have a black super hero finally be in the spotlight and have a stand alone story line of his own feels good. First Luke Cage and now Black Panther. It looks like Hollywood is finally truly diversifying. It’s a start. Lets hope the trend sets in.

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The Silent HIV Crisis Sweeping the American South by TONIC

Gay black men are hardest hit by HIV in the American South. TONIC post a short video about some of the hardships that gay black HIV positive men face in Mississippi.

Find TONIC’s video description here:

TONIC (VICE’s new health channel) travels to Jackson, Mississippi, one of the hardest hit Southern cities, to investigate why black gay men are getting diagnosed and falling to a disease that can be managed. We’ll discuss issues tied to systematic racial discrimination, such as low income and poverty, lack of access to adequate health care, limited HIV testing and education and stigma attached to the virus. We’ll meet heroic social workers and researchers struggling to bring HIV+ the care they need, as well as HIV+ men who are speaking out about their disease in hopes of changing the stigmas attached to it.

HIV diagnoses in the United States have generally plummeted since the 1980’s, and treatment strategies are now so effective that some are beginning to talk about the end of the AIDS epidemic. However, for gay black men in America, the chances of getting HIV in a lifetime are still one in two. In some Southern states, the rates of infection for black men who have sex with men rival rates in underdeveloped countries like Botswana. Once diagnosed with HIV, these men are unable to access the medicine, clinical resources and psychological support they need to keep life ­threatening AIDS diagnoses at bay.