Accessibility and Disability Service and Student Disability Services highlight 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. 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.
In the links described below, we hope you may find information you will be happy to rediscover or learn for the first time. Black history is being made this moment, and there is an endless amount to learn from the past. A little time spent exploring Black history this month may lead you in enlightening directions. While researching this post, I started at (link)Brad Lomax, and ended up at the (link)Wild Zappers, a DC-based all black all deaf dance company.
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
· Google “Black History” plus any disability (i.e. "autism," "dyslexia," etc.) and find something to share. Add it to the comments at the end of this post.
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
More UMBC posts and events are going up over the course of the month. Please keep looking. Here are a few to check out at UMBC:
LSAMP at UMBC has a great post that spans Black History, education history and today. (link)https://my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/lsamp/posts/99034
The UMBC Women’s Center posted on “Black Women in History from A to Z.” Their first on the list is Audre Lorde, a black poet, activist and scholar who lived with the effects of breast cancer from 1978 until her death in 1992. Her writings about identity have influenced most social justice movements in the US and beyond, including the disability rights movement and scholarly critical disability studies. (link)https:/my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/womenscenter/posts/98941
UMBC’s own Dr. George Derek Musgrove launched a website on February 1, 2021 that documents the history of Black Power in Washington DC. The department will host a discussion event with Dr. Musgrove on February 25th, at noon. (link)https:/my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/history/posts/98905
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