Khafre Kujichagulia Abif is an author, writer, and activist. He has been living with HIV for over twenty years. Abif was first diagnosed in 1991. “It wasn’t until five years later that I shared with my mother that I was HIV positive,” says Abif. Since then he has been an activist for HIV/AIDS and has worked hard to bring awareness to the disease that has affected many individuals in the African American community.
The title of his book, Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmations for People Living with HIV/AIDS, came from a conversation he had with his mother after he told her he was HIV positive. “She put her arms around me, she prayed for me and prayed over my life,” says Abif. “And then she went downstairs to the kitchen and pulled out a cast iron skillet and started cooking cornbread, she wanted to fatten me up I guess.” The book consists of 125 writers, famous and unknown poets and authors, some of who are HIV positive and others who are HIV negative. The book is available in different languages such as, Spanish, Cosa, Zulu and French. “It’s a book for the world, we wanted to create a quilt of words to wrap around people to combat the negative words we living with HIV often hear from family, community and just the media,” says Abif.
Currently, Abif is working on his Cycle for Freedom campaign; it is a 2,028 mile mobile campaign, in which he plans to cycle the distance of the Underground Railroad, in order to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness. In April 2015, Abif will bicycle the Underground Railroad bicycle path from Owen Sound, Canada to Mobile, Alabama. He will stop in 14 cities where they will be having HIV testing rallies and educating individuals on the stigmas around HIV/AIDS.