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Throughout history, dating back to slavery, blacks have been confronted with economic, political and social subjugation while living in the United States. During the course of this struggle, the black church has served as a place of refuge for the black community. The church, for example, served as the catalyst for the civil rights movement. Organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy, worked tirelessly to tear down the barriers of inequality. In recent years, however, the black church has, arguably, failed to provide the same type of leadership in the fight against HIV-AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).