- By Jim Hicks
(Photo: "Because I have company." Carl Hancock Rux, in an interview about activism, conducted by Carrie Mae Weems)
The poet, playwright, director, musician, actor, and activist Carl Hancock Rux grew up in foster care. His older brother Ralph owned a restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and Ralph managed to locate Carl, who was still living with his foster parents. And then, as Rux puts it, they “had a brief, wonderful, beautiful time together.” One day, though, Ralph disappeared; when Carl chanced upon him, months later, he was almost unrecognizable, suffering from dementia, and dying of AIDS.
The younger brother cared for the older, at a time when AIDS patients were feared and shunned even by the hospital workers entrusted with their care. On the day...