ACT UP, 332 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Robert Garcia was born on January 13, 1962, in Whittier, California. His years in New York City were devoted chiefly to political activism, pertaining especially to issues of race and sexuality. In "Speak for Yourself: 7 Activists Talk about ACT-UP," by Jim Hubbard, 1990, Garcia said that being half Navajo, half Mexican, and gay were the three things that identified who he was. He was an important member of ACT UP in New York City, founding and directing committees and caucuses within the organization. A leading role in ACT UP actions and demonstrations led to Garcia's participation in several video projects with the video collective House of Color. His activities extended to Latino and pro-choice activism, and included active participation in the national organization Men Of All Colors Together.
He died of complications due to AIDS in New York City in 1993. "I would whisper to myself as I was marching, shouting, demonstrating, fighting back: ‘Robert, every step you take is a tear you don’t want to cry, every arrest is an act of hope.’ ”
The Robert Garcia papers, 1988-1993, are at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. The Robert Garcia papers include personal papers and files reflecting Garcia's personal life and involvement in lesbian and gay rights, reproductive rights, and AIDS activism. Garcia's papers also reflect his involvement in ACT UP-New York, the national organization Men of All Colors Together (formerly Black and White Men Together), and a video collective called House of Color; also, testimony regarding his arrest for civil disobedience at an ACT UP demonstration. A collection of videocassettes includes biographical material as well as footage related to activism about AIDS, identity politics, race and sexuality; also work by House of Color.