To Be Disabled, Black & Proud

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted and so much has gone on as we embark on the second half of the year. Here in the US we’re eighteen months into this administration’s helm and cross-hairs especially if you’re multiply-marginalized. You might feel some combination of drained., pained, and hanging on by your nails and skin of your teeth so to speak. You may also be feeling tired of folks giving directives of “dig deep, pull yourself up by the bootstraps” especially when you may not have boots and/or feet. Save that speech folks, please.

They tell you to keep dreaming when you’re wading in waste and waist-high water while cash-strapped and in caste system of sorts. Langston asked,”What happens to a dream deferred?” well it gets shelved and sometimes aborted. And even deported. Even when you’ve done nothing wrong but asserted your rights by taking knees, coping pleas, pleading the 5th, raising a fist, etc your behavior and whole body may get pathologized and weaponized.

Got the nerve to wonder why folx might have an attitude. Why your tone is “disrespectful.” Can’t talk sweet sir if your foot is perpetually on my neck crushing my windpipe. Hard to trust when your quality of life is always up for a political fight.

And while working in collaborative effort for beneficial policy measures with budget allocations that keep disabled folks community-based there’s the need for selfcare and self-expression. I think of Audre Lorde’s quote “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Pillowed and blanketed by that declaration. Some days leave you undone.

Sometimes we find the sweetness and statements made in a simple tee and smize. Joy nestled in pride.

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[image description: light complected Black woman shown waist-up wearing black and gray cap, red lipstick, small silver half-hoop earrings, donning a white t-shirt that reads: “Disabled, Black & Proud” emblazoned over gray fist, she has a raised right fist, outside during daylight hours, windows on brick building are behind her]

*T-shirt designed by Imani Barbarin can be purchased here.

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