Thursday, December 01, 2005
And the band played on
One week, one month, one year ago? Never?
The annual examination of this global epidemic is no cause for celebration when you put the cold, harsh data of its circulation in the African American community in the U.S. alone under the microscope.
- African-American women account for approximately 70 percent of new AIDS cases; yet they only comprise 12 to 13 percent of the U.S. population.
- One out of 160 African-American women is HIV positive, compared to one in 3,000 white women.
- AIDS has become one of the top three causes of death for African-American women aged 25-34.
- African-American women are more than a dozen times as likely to be infected with HIV than their white counterparts.
- Approximately 20 African-American women become infected with HIV in America every day.
Coincidentally, today also marks the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks' protest on a Montgomery, AL bus. It would've been so fitting had she lived for her to be alive on such a momentous occasion. Nevertheless, one of the few times I'll give credit to the Metropolitan Transit Authority for anything... I thought it was a very appropriate tribute to her memory to have the front seat adjacent to the driver reserved on all public buses today.
However, some folks never take the time to read the goddamn sign when it's staring them right in the face. More than a few people didn't even bother to notice it taped up after their fare was paid, but this snippet from today's New York Times did my heart good.
In Midtown Manhattan, a white couple boarded the M4 bus going south on Fifth Avenue and sat in the first two seats, including the Rosa Parks seat. From 52nd Street to the Empire State Building, the couple talked animatedly until they got off at 34th Street.Then a black man boarded the bus and began to sit in the Rosa Parks seat, but stopped in midair when he noticed the authority's sign."History, history, Rosa Parks," he said to the black woman sitting across the aisle. "But people were sitting here."The black woman said gently, "They couldn't see the sign.""Well," the black man said, peeling away the sign and moving it to the edge of the seat, "they will now."
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