Join Accessibility and Disability Service and Student Disability Services in honoring Black History Month.
Rediscover how some members of the Black Civil Rights Movement also played essential roles as activists in the US Disability Rights Movement, and paved the way for disability rights activists to influence social change and legislation. Many people with disabilities were part of both movements and continue to be today.
Dr. Sami Schalk is presenting on 504 and Beyond: Disability Politics and the Black Panther Party on February 23 at 4p (details and registration are linked) via the Dresher Center and co-sponsorship with ADS and I3B.
Some of the intersection of Crip Camp shows how intersectional being black and disabled can be - beyond the Black Panthers. Further back in history, learn new things about the famous Black figures who also had disabilities. For instance, Harriet Tubman lived with epilepsy and narcolepsy, a reminder that disability is both directly and indirectly linked to many forms of violence.
In the links described below, you may rediscover or learn for the first time about Black history being made in this moment, and there is so much to learn from the past. Research forays have been known to start at Brad Lomax, and end up at the Wild Zappers, a DC-based all black all deaf dance company - what new-to-you ancestral influencers and history-makers will become front-of-mind to you? Within the past month we learned of the research of Dr. Stephanie Keeney Parks via In A Different Key. In 2022 Megan Thee Stallion launched a website to support mental health.
Test your knowledge by taking this quiz with the National Black Disability Coalition (NBDC): (link)http://www.blackdisability.org/content/black-disabled-trivia
Important figures in Black History:
- National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) has a Black History Bio for each day of February: (link)https://www.ndrn.org/resource/disability-rights-in-black/
- On the website for Respect Ability, an advocacy organization, you can find an article featuring the experiences and voices of current African-American celebrities who have disabilities. (link)https://www.respectability.org/2018/02/highlighting-african-americans-disabilities-honor-black-history-month/
- Learn about Black History heroes who are or were deaf or blind: (link)https://dcmp.org/learn/203-black-history-month
· Enter “Black History” plus any disability (i.e. "autism," "dyslexia," etc.) into a search engine and explore more about the intersectionality of disability.
Explore Black History and Disability Rights:
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has a great article about the integral role Black disability rights activists played in securing rights for all US citizens with disabilities. (link)https://www.ncld.org/news/honoring-black-history-month-unsung-heroes-of-the-disability-rights-movement/ For more on Brad Lomax, a leader in the 1977 protests that led to the implementation of section 504 of the rehabilitation act, see this NYT obituary (link) https:/www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/obituaries/brad-lomax-overlooked.html
Black Disabled and Proud: College Students with Disabilities is a website by the HBCU Disability Consortium. Their page titled “Black Lives Matter and Disability” speaks to the recent and daily making of Black history as it intersects with disability. (link)https://www.blackdisabledandproud.org/black-lives-matter.html The page includes links to thoughtful articles as well as self-care info.
The Disability Visibility Project’s Black Lives Matter page has podcasts (with transcripts) that explore the individual experiences of people who are actively contributing individually and/or organizing to raise awareness about being Black and having a disability. (link)https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/tag/black-lives-matter/ Click through on the posts and find things like Jen White Johnson’s Black Disability Lives Matter mural (link)https://jenwhitejohnson.com/Black-Disabled-Lives-Matter-Mural-Project
If you are looking for UMBC-based disability resources - use these links:
- Student Disability Services: For ALL students - graduate and undergraduate, as well as Information for Faculty working with student accommodations
- Accessibility and Disability Services: Work Accommodation for Faculty, Staff and Student Employees as well as technical accessibility support
- Report Accessibility Concerns online 24/7 here
A photo of two black young women with their hair in white headbands at a 1960's era protest with one larger sign behind them reading "Martyr Medgar Evers" and a poem that begins "The Black Man Fell and helpless lay,/ A Gaping Wound upon his back,/ A Witness to the Savage Way,/ A Beast Had Made His Foul Attack...." accompanies this post. Photo credit: Unseen Histories downloaded from Unsplash.com