This bundle contains both of this year’s seasonal potpourris: THE LARRY and THE SARAH.
THE LARRY, named after Larry Kramer, features citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, and winter spices.
THE SARAH, named after Sarah Schulman, features New York roses, cedar, patchouli, and vanilla.
More information about these potpourris’ namesakes follows.
Larry Kramer helped to found two of the earliest and most successful HIV/AIDS organizations in NYC—Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). A polarizing figure in his life and death, Larry’s work and advocacy nevertheless played a major role in finding effective treatment for HIV patients.
Sarah Schulman is a writer, teacher, artist, and activist, among other things, who, along with filmmaker Jim Hubbard, spent the better part of two decades interviewing nearly 200 original members of ACT UP New York. They’ve made all of their interviews available to view in full, free of charge, on the ACT UP Oral History Project website.
The interview that Sarah, and Jim, did with Larry for the ACT UP Oral History Project is a great place to learn about the early AIDS crisis in NYC, if you don’t know the history. It also says a lot about how people get things done, highlighting Larry and Sarah’s different approaches and modeling a way to engage conflict without disrespecting common ground and shared humanity. It seems that this was the ethos of ACT UP, an officially leaderless movement that used non-violent action to effect lasting, positive societal change in the face of a pandemic.
When I told Sarah that I was naming my potpourris after her and Larry, she audibly groaned, before saying to me, “Follow your heart, baby.” Sarah has absolutely nothing to do with this, and I cannot stress that enough. My intention with this fan-boy stunt is just to honor her contributions, which have 100% uprooted my understanding of things. I hope that you have a similar experience.
Watch Sarah’s interview with Larry at actuporalhistory.org.