Black Harm Reduction Politics in the Early Philadelphia Epidemic

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Abstract

This essay examines the efforts of Rashidah Hassan (now Rashidah Abdul-Khabeer) and the organization she co-founded Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues (BEBASHI) in early path-breaking harm reduction efforts in Philadelphia. Within a context in which the city and gay advocacy organizations ignored the disproportionate impact of HIV-AIDS on the city’s Black communities Hassan extended a legacy of Black health activism in the context of the new epidemiological and social conditions of the late twentieth century. Under her directorship, BEBASHI created new interventions that combined practical harm reduction information to help people avoid new infections with a political analysis of the relationship between Black women’s social vulnerability and their susceptibility to HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalSouls
Volume21
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Black radical tradition
  • gender
  • resistance
  • sexuality/sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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