As the AIDS epidemic took hold in the

early 1980s, self-help guru Louise Hay cre- ated a space for healing called the Hayride. Drawing hundreds of gay men confronting a deadly and stigmatized disease, Louise promised that they could overcome AIDS through self-love. Some said this early New Age wellness

movement was opportunistic and harmful. Others who were suffering said that Louise healed them. In the face of a deadly pandemic and government neglect, resilience takes unusual forms, and for Hay’s circle, intimate forms of reckoning were transformative. Award-winning movie maker Matt Wolf’s

short film exploring the controversial self-help guru’s influence on the AIDS pandemic can be streamed on POV on PBS. Now available

WHAT ABOUT ME In an effort to change the negative perceptions of Black men in the media,

5J Entertainment in collaboration with a prominent assembly of Black leaders and professionals announce this pioneering documentary airing in syndication Saturday, February 6 through Sunday, February 28. “What About Me is a riveting look into the experience of African-American men and their history in America,” said D. John Jackson of 5J Entertain- ment. “Black men and boys have endured extreme racism and prejudice in every aspect of their lives from economics, jobs, politics and even social existence to this very day. Yet, we are still succeeding. However, the struggle continues, and our stories, emotions and traumas need to be explored, heard and discussed.” In addition to Jackson, the other executive producers are Darryl Pitts, a documentary film producer, and Taroue Brooks, an event planner/publicist. The hour-long program is expected to reach 70% of U.S. televisions during its run in February. Brooks said the documentary was created to foster engagement with Black men during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. “I was frustrated that most news outlets only portrayed African-American men as celebrities, athletes, criminals or victims of deadly police violence,” Brooks said. “This documentary creates a place where you can hear what African-American men have to say in their own diverse voices about how they view their positions in American society.” “It is extremely important for us to tell the stories and control our narratives of

many rarely seen and untold stories of Black men and boys,” Jackson said. “This documentary looks to inspire, connect and encourage Black men to remain strong and seek out each other to bond and unleash their ideas, creativity and wonderful talents. Oftentimes in America, we see a narrative from our media of young Black males that is all too unflattering. Their hopes, dreams and aspira- tions have been muted . . . until now.”

22 | FEBRUARY 2021

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