4 Year Journey

root - Posted on 31 December 1969

by Leroy Moore

Happy birthday to Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization Happy

birthday to you

I want you to close your eyes

Sit back and let your mind fly

Through four years of fighting to survive

Once upon a time

In the year of 1995

Leroy traveled from the US to the UK

After 24 years being on the outside

He found what he called home in a foreign land

Black disabled brothers and sisters organizing and speaking their minds

Oh yeah I could understand

Their rage, beauty and talents

Set a fire from the inside

A year flew by

Traveled back and forth

US to the UK UK to the US

I was a changed man

Could not go back working for the man

Everybody was shocked

"What happen to Leroy in London!"

Like James Baldwin

I've been to the mountaintop

Started to lecture on race and disability

My two communities did not know what to do with me

"He is too radical and way too angry!"

1996, London still flipping in my mind

Pockets full of lent

Had to put London aside

1997, worked on my final solution

To be independent from racist and disabilist organizations

Breaking the silence through poetry and personal stories

One is a lonely number

I remember the organizing of my brothers and sisters across the sea

That‚s when the seed was planted and DAMO was placed on paper

1998 DAMO‚s first meeting

Me and the wall

My dream was shattered and I was about to fall

Then people started to call

Mixed emotions

Fear of the unknown

1999 DAMO growing like a grapevine

Breaking ground in Oaktown

Media wanted to know what was going down

Jumping from place to place

Shared an office downtown

Trying to be all around the Bay

Poetry, Talk show, organizing and family events

People started to burn out

No money, no support and no office

The year 2000 came back to San Francisco

Many founding members were gone

But the struggle to survive keeps going on

The rebirth of DAMO

New faces, new fiscal sponsor and a grant

Now it's time to spread our wings and fly

Laying down the foundation

For future generations

But we still live in a capitalist nation so we need your donations

Now open your eyes

Leave the four years behind

And lets party tonight

Cause tomorrow we will all be back on the front lines

BY Leroy F. Moore Jr.

Founder and Executive Director of DAMO


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