978-1-55583-572-9 / 1555835724

Keep Singing: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and Their Fight Against Jesse Helms

by Clarke, Patsy

Publisher:Alyson Books



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About the book:

When Patsy Clarke and Eloise Vaughn brought together a group of North Carolina women mourning their sons' deaths of AIDS, they little realized that they would become political activists, and would found an organization to oppose the 1996 reelection of Jesse Helms to congress. Angry talk started to flow, someone wrote a check, and Clarke ran to get a clean pickle jar from the kitchen for donations: "We didn't really know what we were doing. We were just driven by primal emotions." Although Mothers Against Jesse in Congress failed to convince Jesse Helms to tone down his anti-gay rhetoric or alter his stance on funding for AIDS research, Patsy and Eloise did get to present their case to the 1996 Democratic convention, appear in People magazine (garnering a huge pile of mail both for and against their cause), and experience enormous personal growth. Conservative women liberalized by the loss of their sons, Clark and Vaughn tackle anti-gay politics in the way that we all hope our mothers will stand up for us in our absence.--Jack Connolly

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