I was having a conversation with a fellow advocate/disabled Sistagirl about a response they received from a member of our community who did not understand why they would embrace their disabled identity. This person shared that they had “moved beyond” their disability; that mentality struck a nerve with Sistagirl, and the wheels started turning in my head.
I thought about what my response would be to that person or anyone who came to me with similar sentiments, and the following piece was birthed.
Being a Black disabled woman in America is a sheer act of defiance.
What brought me to this statement was the gross amounts of ableism, racism, and misogynoir I witnessed and read last week during the coverage surrounding Korryn Gaines’ encounter and death at the hands of the police.
Korryn’s existence represents me – a Black disabled woman. Korryn had a developmental disability due to lead exposure from living in housing that had toxic lead paint levels. Korryn’s life and death made me think back to what I had written about Blackness and police brutality last month regarding Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
To be Black, disabled, and female means that you always have eyes on you. You must be “on” at all times; must be willing to “perform” for White, Black, & non-disabled Americas. You must be perfect and a good cripple, or be crucified at the cross, as we saw when Korryn’s story unfolded.
There were two matters in particular that struck me profoundly about the coverage surrounding Korryn’s fatal police incident: the way Black men discussed Korryn’s story on social media, and the Black community’s continued miseducation regarding disability.
I know that it has been MONTHS since I have given you an update regarding my online dating adventures for the “That’s the Way Love Rolls” series. I thought it would be fitting to share what has transpired, and discuss the strangest encounter I have had that left me like “whaaaat???”
Important Disability-Related Videos You Should Watch
Here's the Out of Step's TOOST Radio interview I participated in as a panelist on Nov. 6th, 2013. During the interview, I discussed my personal & professional viewpoints about the choice of discussing disability status while seeking employment opportunities. The part that I'm featured begins 15:29 minutes into the interview.
In this video, Beyoncé helps Kid President with World Humanitarian Day 2013. The Kid President has OI like I do. I think that his messages are ones that all walks of life & ages can learn from. I'm so jealous that he met one of my idols & favorite music performers, Beyoncé! I wanted to share with you all the interview the Kid President did with Beyoncé for World Humanitarian Day, which was August 19th, 2013.