by Tameka Citchen-Spruce
This article first appeared in the Detroit News on March 13th, 2020
We recently came out of Black History month and into Women’s History month. Growing up as an African American woman with a physical disability, I couldn’t name a woman or a black person with a disability in history who made a significant change in the lives of people like me unless it was Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles.
That has changed.
Disabled black activists like Leroy Moore, founder of Krip Hop Nation, Vilissa Thompson, founder of Ramp Your Voice, and Jane Dunhamn, executive director of National Black Disability Coalition have brought stories of black disabled women and men to the forefront, and it is time to share their stories and make our lives visible.
Today, I understand the importance of seeing myself in history; of looking at people like Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Suggs and Fannie Lou Hammer; or of learning the horrific challenges of being black and disabled like Junius Wilson, who inspired me to research the history of African Americans with disabilities…