The Tearing Down Of Black Disabled Movements, Constantly Starting Over


Tiny - Posted on 14 July 2020

Author: 
Leroy F. Moore Jr.
Hello people it is July 2020 & the disability community is tied up with the 30 anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the middle of COVID and police brutality.
 
I understand yes we need to celebrate and yes Krip—Hop Nation is part of one or two celebrations but as a Black disabled poor man I’m dragging my booty to the celebrations. Here on Krip-Hop radio and our other media channels today I want to concentrate on three to four Black Disabled Movements in London, UK, Toronto, Canada and San Francisco, CA Bay Area and a little bit in South Africa in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. All of these movements except in South Africa I had the opportunity to witness and the question that has screaming in my brain is, "What happened to them, why nobody that I know hasn't written about these movements?  This is only my experiences and my knowledge. We also interviewed Julie Jaye Charles of London, UK who spoke about what is going on today in London, England for Black disabled people more in the service side of things.
 
Back in the 1980's I found out that London England had a Black Disabled Movement and that changed my focus and I wanted to be there. The book, Reflections by Millidrette Hill who was a student barrister, freelance writer and an advocate on race and disability. She co-founded Black Disabled People Association and actively spoke out about the experience of Black Disabled People. She co-wrote the book with Nasa Begum and Andy Stevens (Begum, N, Hill, M and Stevens, A, 1994). I carried that book everywhere and I still have it.  It wasn’t until after college graduation in 1995 that I decided to go to London to track down this movement and apply for graduate school at Leeds University who at that time had done one of the first graduate studies in disability that included Milie’s work on Black disabled movement. Long story short I got into Leeds but because I owned my school $$$$$$ they didn’t release my transcripts and on top of that I didn’t have a chance to meet Milliedrett Hill but I met many Black disabled poets and other Black disabled activists. So I came back home and lived my life and in 2001 I was invited to Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and that’s when I saw another Black disabled activist on the panel I was on. Since that panel I heard the founders of that movement were not supported so the movement disappeared until recently. I heard that the founders back in 2001 in Toronto was radical and brought up racism like in London in the disability community. I don’t know what is going on in Toronto for Black disabled people.
 
 
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s my organization Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization, DAMO lasted from 1998-2002 and the reason why we decided to close DAMO is the founders got tired of writing grants over and over. During that time I met Dunhamn who was organizing around Black disabled issues in New Jersey and she was doing Minorities Disability Coalition 1985 which became National Black Disability Coalition in January of 2000 that is still operating today.  You also had Disabled in Action that Calvivn  Peterson ran since the mid 1980’s and recently you have an all Black disabled women organization in Detroit called Warriors On Wheels who have started a food delivery service during COVIN 19.
 
 
I also read about disabled movement during and after apartheid was also talking about racism and ableism but at that time before computers I could only find very little on this topic but now with the internet these stories are coming out like   poet, activist, Looks Matoto in South African who is disabled poet and writer writing about the history of Black disabled people under apartheid abad now..
 
 
My questions are who has this history especially in London?  Where are the books, art and music about these Black Disabled Movements?? and with Disability studies going international than what does Disability Studies look like in mostly Black /Brown countries and so much. Where is the funding? 
 
 
I had the opportunity to interview Julie Jaye Charles, who is also a minister in the UK government who is advocating for more visibility, funding and more opportunities for Black disabled people in the UK. This is going to be a deep conversation because I remember the 1980’s Black Disability Movement in London. And recently I had a video chat with three Black disabled activists from the UK Michelle Daley, Lyi Olaf and Saadia Neilson and Saadia Neilson actually worked with Margett Hill back i n the 90’s.. They talked about how it is being Black and disabled in the UK & how once again the UK don’t support Black disabled people although the government and big White organizations continue to do studies after studies on race and disability but don't implement them. This interview will go up on Krip-Hop Natioon’s youtube page in the beginning of Aug 2020
 
 
So what do we have back then and today?? I put this list on Facebook last month. It's a start.
Disabled/Deaf people of Color Movements/Orgs that I knew of since the 80's (please add to. This is heavy CA)
 
 
1) South Africa Black Disabled Movement to fight apartheid 1980's
2) London UK Black Disabled Movement 1980's late 90's
3) Toronto, Canada Disabled People of Color Movement early 90's
4) Disability Advocates of Minorities Org 1997-2002,
5) Harambee Educational Council 2000-2004
6) La Familia Counseling Services 1979-
7) Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) 1999-
8) National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities - CNLD 2016-
9) National Black Disability Coalition  2000-today
10) Harriet Tubman Collective (on the internet) 2016-today
11) National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (NBDA) 1982-today
12) Sins Invalid 2006-
13) Harriet Tubman Collective 2015 -
14) HEARD, Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities - HEARD 2011
15). DISABILITY JUSTICE NETWORK OF ONTARIO
16) BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective)
17) Disabled In Action 1980’s-today
18) Warriors On Wheels 2019-today
 
By Leroy F. Moore Jr.
7/14/20

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