Document Type

Research Project

Publication Date

Spring 2021

Faculty Sponsor

Nadieszda Kizenko

Course

Senior Research Seminar, AHIS 498Z

Abstract

This research, completed in the senior-history capstone course, follows a feminist LGBTQ+ activist local to Albany, NY. Her and fellow activists worked during the 1980’s and 1990’s to provide awareness and resources following the outbreak of the AIDS crisis. I examined the Albany community’s (and the national government’s) response to the rise in LGBTQ+ violence and hate-crime cases. I also examined how activists were working to address the lack of serious response on behalf of local/national government, and the solutions they offered to Albany’s community. Therefore, my project is essentially an assessment of the work done by activists such as Michelle Crone. I aimed to honor their contribution to LGBTQ+ safety, protection, and equality.

Comments

Project Description and Process For this project, I had heavily utilized the University at Albany’s Special Collections Archive. The majority of the sources cited in my bibliography are from the Michelle Crone Papers, primary resources obtained from a previous UAlbany student and activist. Her Albany Activism work (a subcategory of the General Activism files) was what I primarily researched, using several folders from box one. A few sources also come from the University at Albany’s Grenander collection on the AIDS awareness group ACT UP, specifically the ACT UP Albany, N.Y. Chapter Records. The most challenging component of the research process was sorting through all that I had found, deciding what was essential to my research question and what wasn’t. The main research question(s) I was asking was: How did AIDS influence Albany’s community during the peak of the crisis? What LGBTQ+ organizations and activists brought awareness locally? I had dozens of photos of random correspondences, newspaper clippings, and general notes of Michelle Crone’s. I then had to read and analyze my findings then if needed, figure out where to incorporate the research into my paper. I had also done a video interview with a former UAlbany professor, Harlow Robinson, as he lived through the peak of the AIDS crisis in Albany and was acquainted with Michelle Crone. I believe this process, although not unique to historical work, allowed for unique findings that are relatively new to the Albany area’s history. This process also drastically altered how I perceive LGBTQ+ equality and education in my community. It had taught me a great deal about Gay history, more so than I had ever learned in my 21 years being just 25 minutes away from New York’s capital.

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