One of the nation’s first HIV/AIDS facilities, Washington, D.C.’s Whitman Walker clinic has saved the lives and eased the suffering of thousands of people living with AIDS since the early 1980s.
Kwame Holmes recontextualizes the clinic’s work against the backdrop of the private donations that kept the facility afloat in its early years. Mapping out the “thank-you” letters written by Walker’s management board reveals that white gay suburbanites, rather than inner city gays, drove donations to Whitman Walker. Moreover, the largest single donor to Whitman Walker was a man
named Robert Alfandre, a wealthy developer who made millions building homes in segregated Maryland and Virginia suburbs during the 1950s and 1960s. By following the money, it becomes possible to illuminate the fiduciary and spatial origins of the uneven distribution of HIV services to white and black populations within the city itself.
Free and open to the public