On Oct. 30, the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus ( CBGMC ), in partnership with the Remimakuo Media Club, hosted its "Quarterly Conversations with the Caucus" event, open to the public, at The Jeffrey Pub.
That night, openly gay HIV/AIDS clinician and author Dr. David Malebranche discussed his book, Standing on His Shoulders: What I Learned about Race, Life and High Expectations from My Haitian Superman Father.
CBGMC's Keith Green formally presented Malebranche, who read a few paragraphs of his book, and talked about deception, courage, education, racism, health, family, medicine, loving and believing in oneself and becoming a role model by setting an example, not just by preaching.
Afterward, the enthusiastic audience participated in a heated debate that involved, among other things, talking about embracing being Black and gay, warning young generations about sexually transmitted infections and working jobs that are actual vocations.
Standing on His Shoulders tells the story of Malebranche and the love he has for his father, "a journey about their relationship throughout the course of his lifefrom childhood wide-eyed wonderment, to disappointment and resentment as a teen and young adult, to finally forgiveness, understanding, and profound appreciation as a grown man," he said. "It is a story about a Black father born in Haiti and his son born America, and how this father taught his son that high expectations and excellence should be the rule, not the exception."
Malebranche is a board-certified internal medicine physician and researcher with expertise in the clinical management of HIV and behavioral HIV-prevention research with Black men in the United States. He is currently a primary-care physician at the University of Pennsylvania's Student Health Center in Philadelphia..
He dedicated his professional life to the treatment of HIV because he "saw a lot of people die, and friends who tested positive." However, with the release of his book, he said, "I feel very good, I've been working on the book seven to eight years, very enthused about the reception. ... It lets me know that I did the right thing in telling the story, so I'm very happy about it."
To learn more about the caucus, visit chiblackgaycaucus.org; for more about Standing on His Shoulders, see standingonhisshoulders.com .