Justin's HIV Journal

Friday, July 24, 2009

Justin's HIV Journal: Justin's Little Brother's Find Out About His HIV Status.........via MySpace

Hello everyone; especially family.

As all of you know I’m very outspoken about who I am and about HIV Awareness, Prevention and Education. When I found out about my status I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to do something to get help and to help others.

So I came up with Justin’s HIV Journal. I knew my business would be out there for the world to see and I had to make sure my partner and I were ready for any repercussions or attention that would come from that. I can say that it takes a strong man to be with me and for that I’m appreciative and grateful.

My family was supportive but I only disclosed to the people that were old enough to understand the disease. I have two little brothers who I love dearly named, Brandon and Josh. They are younger than me, so I felt like I had to protect them or at least their image of me.

Once you become open about you HIV status it’s open to just about anyone, especially if you’re an outspoken HIV activist like me, who doesn’t mind sharing that about themselves.

Brandon and Josh, I know you found out about my HIV through the internet, I just wanted to tell you that I love you both and that it’s okay, I’m doing fine. You don’t have to be afraid, because I’m not. I’m going to tell you like I told Mom and Dad, “Be strong with me”. I need strength from the both of you. You love is probably the most powerful because it’s youthful and unconditional. Don’t be afraid to hug or kiss me, you will not get HIV like that.

I live my life publically to educate others and I live it for you two, Brandon and Josh. To educate the youth about this disease so the same thing does not happen to you. I love you. Just know that I’m fine and I’m doing well.

--Boys, I just want to let you know a little something about HIV and me.

  • It’s a disease that breaks down a persons immune system (The system in your body that fights off diseases)

  • I take my medication (3 pills) everyday

  • I also speak to some groups about how to not get HIV

  • People can get HIV through unprotected sex or drug use (ASK MOM AND DAD ABOUT SPECIFICS)

  • You do not know the person who gave me HIV.

  • You can live a long time with HIV, so I expect to see your children (WHEN YOU GET OLDER)

  • You can not get HIV through a hug or kiss. So don’t be afraid to touch me.

I love you both so much. Please call me if you have any questions. It’s okay if you call me about it I love you

Love Your Brother,

Justin B. Smith

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NAACP 100th Anniversary OBAMA SPEAKS on Racism, Health Care, Education, Budget and more

President Barack Obama speaks the truth about Racism, Education and Health care the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP. Please listen to his important message. He also speaks of the LGBT Community in the U.S. I don't need to write anymore because he already know what I want to say to you. Thank you

Please listen.... COMMENT BELOW. Speak your mind but be respectful.

From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.

Their mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

Vision Statement

The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.

The following statement of objectives is found on the first page of the NAACP Constitution — the principal objectives of the Association shall be:

* To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens
* To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States
* To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes
* To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights
* To inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination
* To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP's Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots–based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Founding group
The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing horrific practice of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, the capital of Illinois and birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln.
Appalled at the violence that was committed against blacks, a group of white liberals that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, both the descendants of abolitionists, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Some 60 people, seven of whom were African American (including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell), signed the call, which was released on the centennial of Lincoln's birth.

Other early members included Joel and Arthur Spingarn, Josephine Ruffin, Mary Talbert, Inez Milholland, Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Sophonisba Breckinridge, John Haynes Holmes, Mary McLeod Bethune, George Henry White, Charles Edward Russell, John Dewey, William Dean Howells, Lillian Wald, Charles Darrow, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, and Fanny Garrison Villard.

Echoing the focus of Du Bois' Niagara Movement began in 1905, the NAACP's stated goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law, and universal adult male suffrage, respectively.

The NAACP's principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic processes.
The NAACP established its national office in New York City in 1910 and named a board of directors as well as a president, Moorfield Storey, a white constitutional lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association. The only African American among the organization's executives, Du Bois was made director of publications and research and in 1910 established the official journal of the NAACP, The Crisis.

The Crisis
Du Bois founded The Crisis magazine as the premier crusading voice for civil rights. Today, The Crisis, one of the oldest black periodicals in America, continues this mission. A respected journal of thought, opinion and analysis, the magazine remains the official publication of the NAACP and is the NAACP's articulate partner in the struggle for human rights for people of color.
In time, The Crisis became a voice of the Harlem Renaissance, as Du Bois published works by Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and other African American literary figures. The publication’s prominence would rise.

Now published quarterly, The Crisis is dedicated to being an open and honest forum for discussing critical issues confronting people of color, American society and the world in addition to highlighting the historical and cultural achievements of these diverse peoples.

In essays, interviews, in-depth reporting, etc., writers explore past and present issues concerning race and its impact on educational, economic, political, social, moral, and ethical issues. And, each issue is highlighted with a special section, "The NAACP Today" reporting the news and events of the NAACP on a local and national level.

With a strong emphasis on local organizing, by 1913 the NAACP had established branch offices in such cities as Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; Kansas City, Missouri; Washington, D.C.; Detroit, Michigan; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Joel Spingarn, one of the NAACP founders, was a professor of literature and formulated much of the strategy that led to the growth of the organization. He was elected board chairman of the NAACP in 1915 and served as president from 1929-1939.

A series of early court battles, including a victory against a discriminatory Oklahoma law that regulated voting by means of a grandfather clause (Guinn v. United States, 1910), helped establish the NAACP's importance as a legal advocate. The fledgling organization also learned to harness the power of publicity through its 1915 battle against D. W. Griffith's inflammatory Birth of a Nation, a motion picture that perpetuated demeaning stereotypes of African Americans and glorified the Ku Klux Klan.

NAACP membership grew rapidly, from around 9,000 in 1917 to around 90,000 in 1919, with more than 300 local branches. Writer and diplomat James Weldon Johnson became the Association's first black secretary in 1920, and Louis T. Wright, a surgeon, was named the first black chairman of its board of directors in 1934.

The NAACP waged a 30-year campaign against lynching, among the Association's top priorities. After early worries about its constitutionality, the NAACP strongly supported the federal Dyer Bill, which would have punished those who participated in or failed to prosecute lynch mobs. Though the bill would pass the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate never passed the bill, or any other anti-lynching legislation. Most credit the resulting public debate—fueled by the NAACP report “Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889-1919”—with drastically decreasing the incidence of lynching.

Johnson stepped down as secretary in 1930 and was succeeded by Walter F. White. White was instrumental not only in his research on lynching (in part because, as a very fair-skinned African American, he had been able to infiltrate white groups), but also in his successful block of segregationist Judge John J. Parker's nomination by President Herbert Hoover to the U.S. Supreme Court.

White presided over the NAACP's most productive period of legal advocacy. In 1930 the association commissioned the Margold Report, which became the basis for the successful reversal of the separate-but-equal doctrine that had governed public facilities since 1896's Plessy v. Ferguson. In 1935 White recruited Charles H. Houston as NAACP chief counsel. Houston was the Howard University law school dean whose strategy on school-segregation cases paved the way for his protégé Thurgood Marshall to prevail in 1954's Brown v. Board of Education, the decision that overturned Plessy.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, which was disproportionately disastrous for African Americans, the NAACP began to focus on economic justice. After years of tension with white labor unions, the Association cooperated with the newly formed Congress of Industrial Organizations in an effort to win jobs for black Americans. White, a friend and adviser to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, met with her often in attempts to convince President Franklin D. Roosevelt to outlaw job discrimination in the armed forces, defense industries and the agencies spawned by Roosevelt's New Deal legislation.

Roosevelt ultimately agreed to open thousands of jobs to black workers when the NAACP supported labor leader A. Philip Randolph and his March on Washington movement in 1941. President Roosevelt would also agree to set up a Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to ensure compliance.

Throughout the 1940s the NAACP saw enormous growth in membership, recording roughly 600,000 members by 1946. It continued to act as a legislative and legal advocate, pushing for a federal anti-lynching law and for an end to state-mandated segregation.

Civil Rights Era
By the 1950s the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, headed by Marshall, secured the last of these goals through Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which outlawed segregation in public schools. The NAACP's Washington, D.C., bureau, led by lobbyist Clarence M. Mitchell Jr., helped advance not only integration of the armed forces in 1948 but also passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964, and 1968, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Despite such dramatic courtroom and congressional victories, the implementation of civil rights was a slow, painful, and oft times violent. The unsolved 1951 murder of Harry T. Moore, an NAACP field secretary in Florida whose home was bombed on Christmas night, and his wife was just one of many crimes of retribution against the NAACP and its staff and members.
NAACP Mississippi Field Secretary Medgar Evers and his wife Myrlie also became high-profile targets for pro-segregationist violence and terrorism. In 1962, their home was firebombed and later Medgar was assassinated by a sniper in front of their residence following years of investigations into hostility against blacks and participation in non-violent demonstrations such as sit-ins to protest the persistence of Jim Crow segregation throughout the south.

Violence also met black children attempting to enter previously segregated schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, and other southern cities. Throughout the south many African Americans were still denied the right to register and vote.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s echoed the NAACP's goals, but leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, felt that direct action was needed to obtain them.

Although it was criticized for working exclusively within the system by pursuing legislative and judicial solutions, the NAACP did provide legal representation and aid to members of other protest groups over a sustained period of time. The NAACP even posted bail for hundreds of Freedom Riders in the ‘60s who had traveled to Mississippi to register black voters and challenge Jim Crow policies.

Led by Roy Wilkins, who succeeded Walter White as secretary in 1955, the NAACP cooperated with organizers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin in planning the 1963 March on Washington.

With the passage of major civil rights legislation the following year, the Association accomplished what seemed an insurmountable task. In the following years, the NAACP began to diversify its goals.

Assisting the NAACP throughout the years were many celebrities and leaders, including Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, Ella Baker, an NAACP director of branches who stressed the importance of young people and women in the organization by recruiting members, raising money, and organizing local campaigns; Daisy Bates, NAACP national board member, Arkansas state conference president and advisor to the Little Rock Nine; and NAACP stalwarts like Kivie Kaplan, a businessman and philanthropist from Boston, who served as president of the NAACP from 1966 until 1975. He personally led nationwide NAACP Life Membership efforts and fought to keep African Americans away from illegal drugs.

Close of the first century

Wilkins retired as executive director in 1977 and was replaced by Benjamin L. Hooks, whose tenure included the Bakke case (1978), in which a California court outlawed several aspects of affirmative action. During his tenure the Memphis native is credited with implementing many NAACP programs that continue today. The NAACP ACT-SO (Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) competitions, a major youth talent and skill initiative, and Women in the NAACP began under his administration.

As millions of African Americans continued to be afflicted as urban poverty and crime increased, de facto racial segregation remained and job discrimination lingered throughout the United States, proving the need for continued NAACP advocacy and action.

Dr. Hooks served as executive director/chief executive officer (CEO) of the NAACP from 1977 to 1992. Benjamin F. Chavis (now Chavis Muhammad) became executive director/CEO in 1993, while in 1995 Myrlie Evers-Williams (widow of Medgar Evers) became the third woman to chair the NAACP, a position she held until 1998, succeeded by the current Chairman Julian Bond.

In 1996 the NAACP National Board of Directors changed the executive director/CEO title to president and CEO when it selected Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and head of the Congressional Black Caucus, to lead the body. The elected office of president was eliminated.

Former telecommunications executive Bruce S. Gordon followed in 2005. [NAACP General Counsel Dennis Courtland Hayes would serve the Association well as interim national president and CEO twice during changes in administrations in recent years.]

Last May the NAACP National Board of Directors confirmed Benjamin T. Jealous, a former community organizer, newspaper editor and Rhodes Scholar, as the 14th national executive of the esteemed organization.

Heading into the 21st century, the NAACP is focused on disparities in economics, health care, education, voter empowerment and the criminal justice system while also continuing its role as legal advocate for civil rights issues.

Yet the real story of the nation's most significant civil rights organization lies in the hearts and minds of the people who would not stand idly by while the rights of America's darker citizens were denied. From bold investigations of mob brutality, protests of mass murders, segregation and discrimination, to testimony before congressional committees on the vicious tactics used to bar African Americans from the ballot box, it was the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.

While much of NAACP history is chronicled in books, articles, pamphlets and magazines, the true movement lies in the faces---black, white, yellow, red, and brown---united to awaken the consciousness of a people and a nation. The NAACP will remain vigilant in its mission until the promise of America is made real for all Americans.

Information directly taken from the NAACP website:


Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Washington DC White Attire Affair is back……

The Washington DC White Attire Affair is back……

Official 2009 White Attire Affair

Entertainment Line-Up

The 2009 White Attire Affair "The Experience", is being produced by the one and only Alvin B. King of KING & I Productions, is an event you definitely do not want to miss! With an Egyptian décor, fashion line-up from designers throughout the country, and sounds from two sensational DJs spinning the latest in Hip Hop/Rap, Reggae, R&B and House you will be talking about this event for years to come.....
Al Sura is proud to announce the official flow of this year's Event

The Experience begins....
VIP Reception
The Atrium Garden
Champagne VIP Reception & Open Bar
Passed Hors d'oeuvres

Meet the Artists

Special Guest Artist - Sylver Logan Sharpe

And introducing - Nhojj

Special appearance and book signing by Novelist - M.W. Moore

The Experience continues...
The Main Event
Rooftop Oasis
Open Bar Lite Fare
Private Cabanas

Walk the Nile Fashion Show featuring:
Andrew Nowell Menswear - DC www.andrewnowell.com
Walish Gooshe - Philadelphia www.walishgooshe.com
Bouggy Collection - Chicago www.bouggy.com/Collection.html
Douglas Says - New York City www.douglassays.webs.com

The Dessert Appeal...
11:00-12 midnight
The Atrium Garden
Featuring Instrumentalist - Saleem Waters

Music by...
Cameron DA DJ

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Justin’s HIV Journal: Justin Discloses His HIV Status…….AT WORK !!

When I came out of the closet I didn’t think I would have to do it again, especially at work. This took a lot for me to do. Actually on my facebook I changed my status to say, “Justin B Smith just disclosed his HIV status to his Boss”. Doing that single action started a discussion, which at times did get a little heated. People asked a lot about why someone would do that. Other compared it to their sexuality. I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the discussion so I didn’t interject or give why my reason why I did that until about the 25th comment.

The reason why I told my Boss is because I needed to snack during the day. My lunch is from 12:30pm-1:30pm and I need to snack twice a day. People who have HIV need to have more nutrients in there daily live than people who are HIV negative. They way I usually do this is pills and food. I do both because I wasn’t to stay at the top of my game and stay healthy. I try to drink Ensure as well to help with maintaining my weight.

Why should I have to keep my status secret anyways? People tell me I wear it on my sleeve, but if I don’t then how can it be easier for the next person. The more we talk about HIV/AIDS the better off our community will be. I don’t understand why people don’t want to talk about HIV/AIDS. This disease has bought our community as a whole in a cave of disparity.

ACLU Links:



Here are some nutrient and eating facts according to Living Well With HIV/AIDS
When infected with the HIV virus the body's defence system - the immune system - works harder to fight infection. This increases energy and nutrient requirements. Further infection and fever also increase the body's demand for food. Once people are infected with HIV they have to eat more to meet these extra energy and nutrient needs. Such needs will increase even further as the HIV/AIDS symptoms develop.

HIV/AIDS reduces food intake
People with HIV/AIDS often do not eat enough because:
• the illness and the medicines taken for it may reduce the appetite, modify the taste of food and prevent the body from absorbing it;
• symptoms such as a sore mouth, nausea and vomiting make it difficult to eat;
• tiredness, isolation and depression reduce the appetite and the willingness to make an effort to prepare food and eat regularly;
• there is not enough money to buy food.

HIV/AIDS reduces the absorption of food
Food, once eaten, is broken down by digestion into nutrients. These nutrients pass through the gut walls into the bloodstream and are transported to the organs and tissues in the body where they are needed. One of the consequences of HIV and other infections is that since the gut wall is damaged, food does not pass through properly and is consequently not absorbed.
Diarrhoea is a common occurrence in people with HIV/AIDS. When a person has diarrhoea the food passes through the gut so quickly that it is not properly digested and fewer nutrients are absorbed.
Reduced food intake and absorption lead to weight loss and malnutrition.

When a person does not eat enough food, or the food eaten is poorly absorbed, the body draws on its reserve stores of energy from body fat and protein from muscle. As a result, the person loses weight because body weight and muscles are lost.
The weight loss may be so gradual that it is not obvious. There are two basic ways to discover whether weight is being lost.
• Weigh the person on the same day once a week and keep a record of the weight and date (see sample sheet in Annex 4). For an average adult, serious weight loss is indicated by a 10 percent loss of body weight or 6-7 kg in one month. If a person does not have scales at home it might be possible to make an arrangement with a chemist, clinic or local health unit to weigh him or her.
• When clothes become loose and no longer fit properly.
If a person loses weight he or she needs to take action to increase weight to the normal level.

Weight is gained by eating more food, either by eating larger portions and/or eating meals more frequently, using a variety of foods as described in the previous chapter. Here are some suggestions for gaining weight:
• Eat more staple foods such as rice, maize, millet, sorghum, wheat, bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and bananas.
• Increase intake of beans, soy products, lentils, peas, groundnuts, peanut butter and seeds, such as sunflower and sesame.
• Include all forms of meat, poultry, fish and eggs as often as possible. Minced meat, chicken and fish are easier to digest. Offal (such as kidney and liver) can be the least expensive source.
• Eat snacks regularly between meals. Good snacks are nuts, seeds, fruit, yoghurt, carrots, cassava crisps, crab crisps and peanut butter sandwiches.
• Slowly increase the fat content of the food by using more fats and oils, as well as eating fatty foods - oilseeds such as groundnuts, soy and sesame, avocados and fatty meat. If problems with a high fat intake are experienced (especially diarrhoea), reduce the fat intake until the symptoms are over and then gradually increase it to a level that the body can tolerate.
• Introduce more dairy products such as full-cream milk, sour milk, buttermilk, yoghurt and cheese into the diet.
• Add dry milk powder to foods such as porridge, cereals, sauces and mashed potatoes. However, do not use coffee and tea whiteners, which do not have the same nutritional benefits as milk. Note that some people may find milk difficult to digest. It should be avoided if it causes cramps, a feeling of being full or skin rashes.
• Add sugar, honey, jam, syrup and other sweet products to the food.
• Make meals as attractive as possible.
• Recipes following these recommendations for gaining weight are provided in Annex 1.
Increasing the number of meals and snacks in a day. If poor appetite persists or the person is ill, it is a good idea to spread the food intake throughout the day. Snacks should be included in the daily meal plan.
• A snack is any nutritious food that is readily available and can be eaten without much preparation. Good snacks are nuts, seeds, fruit, yoghurt, carrots, cassava chips, crab chips and peanut butter sandwiches. With at least three meals a day and snacks in between, there is less likelihood of malnutrition or weight loss.
• If a person needs to stay in bed, food and water should be kept within easy reach.
• Carers should ensure that sick members of the family are given preference, fed more frequently and receive extra servings to maintain their weight and strength. Food should be served in an attractive way. Carers need to be kind, while frequently encouraging people to eat.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Justin's HIV Journal: Artomatic 2009

Hello Everyone,

Having HIV doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dreams, hopes or goals. When I was younger one of my dreams was to get up enough courage to actually perform on stage. I never had the courage to do so. When I was in high school I was in Pitt Band and never really got enough balls to put myself out there. In Elementary School I remember a bad experience that I had when I was doing a school play. It was a little hard to get past it.

With youtube you can always go back and edit, it isn’t that simple on stage. On stage if you make a mistake you have to move on and pretend like nothing happened or adlib your way through it.

I was called by Alan Sharpe, Director and Playwright of the African American Collective Theatre (ACT). It was an honor when he asked me to be apart of his short play/reading “All Over Him”. He cast me to play “Eric”, the main character. He said for me to have the part it would depend on my availability. I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I took it and ran with it. Below you find a brief description of Artomatic.

Comment and let me know how I did. ;-)

I would just like to say Thank you Mr. Alan Sharpe, Mr David A. Richardson, and Kendell K. Lee. Also thank you to all the actors in the ACT that made me feel so warm and welcome THANK YOU.

The reading was to be put on at Artomatic’s 10 Anniversary in Washington DC. Artomatic is a month-long art festival in DC that is free to the general public celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Monument Realty and the Capitol Riverfront BID have provided a brand-new 275,000 square foot building to host Artomatic, right next to the Nationals Stadium. The event features nine floors of visual and installation art, theater performances, dance and comedy, three music stages, street performances such as fire dancing and drum troupes, and a film screening theater. Workshops and seminars are held all month long and special events such as the Washington Post's Peeps diorama finalists, the Zombie Prom, Box Racing, body paint shows, and a no-holds-barred Art in Fashion Show.

With four stages, four bars and a lounge on each floor, the 10th Anniversary Artomatic is bigger than ever. 52,500 people attended Artomatic last year, and 70,000 are expected this year. Over 1,000 visual artists and 600 performing artists are exhibiting this year.

Artomatic is a creative community that collaborates to produce and present a free arts spectacular. Participation is open to all, from recognized artists to undiscovered talents, who work in a variety of arts forms. In partnership with the development community, Artomatic transforms unused building space into a playground for expression, serves as a catalyst for community growth in up-and-coming neighborhoods, and helps to grow the creative economy.

Artomatic was originally conceived as a way to break down the geographical and social segmentation of the Washington arts scene, to bring art directly to the public and to build cohesion among artists. Artomatic provides a forum for all of our area's artists to convene, perform and exhibit, strengthening the visibility, cohesion and marketplace of the arts community.