Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS

Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS

by Martin Duberman

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Overview


In December 1995, the FDA approved the release of protease inhibitors, the first effective treatment for AIDS. For countless people, the drug offered a reprieve from what had been a death sentence; for others, it was too late. In the United States alone, over 318,000 people had already died from AIDS-related complications—among them the singer Michael Callen and the poet Essex Hemphill.


Meticulously researched and evocatively told, Hold Tight Gently is the celebrated historian Martin Duberman’s poignant memorial to those lost to AIDS and to two of the great unsung heroes of the early years of the epidemic.
Callen, a white gay Midwesterner who had moved to New York, became a leading figure in the movement to increase awareness of AIDS in the face of willful and homophobic denial under the Reagan administration; Hemphill, an African American gay man, contributed to the black gay and lesbian scene in Washington, D.C., with poetry of searing intensity and introspection.


A profound exploration of the intersection of race, sexuality, class, identity, and the politics of AIDS activism beyond ACT UP, Hold Tight Gently captures both a generation struggling to cope with the deadly disease and the extraordinary refusal of two men to give in to despair.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595589453
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author



Martin Duberman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the CUNY Graduate School. The author of more than twenty books, including a highly acclaimed biography of Paul Robeson, Duberman has won a Bancroft Prize and been a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Before the Storm 1

2 Reading the Signs 43

3 Career Moves 75

4 The Mideighties 105

5 The Toll Mounts 145

6 Drugs into Bodies 183

7 Stalemate 217

8 Breaking Down 247

9 Wartime 271

10 Home 291

Acknowledgments 305

Notes 307

Index 331

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