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Black Girl Magic also extends to disabled women



In the fifth grade, I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that makes it difficult for my heart to pump blood through my body as it should. This changed my run forever. When I was eleven, I had received a heart and kidney transplant that made me a person with limited mobility and chronic illness (19459005) – a person with a disability.

I have detested for years disobeyed. I hid my heart transplant scar by seldom wearing clothes that showed my chest. I was scared that people would discover my transplants because I saw the compassion in their eyes when they learned the truth. But eventually I got tired of hiding my existence as a black woman with a disability. The world already did this for me.

As a disabled black woman, this makes me invisible to much of society.

Every year during the BET Girls Black Girls Rock! Awards, my eyes are glued to the TV. I am always stunned by the great leaders who step on the stage, reminding us that black excellency often begins with the contributions of black women. From the former First Lady Michelle Obama to the founders of Black Lives Matter and musical visionaries like Janelle Monae and Missy Elliot, these women have all inspired me in their own way. But I'm still waiting for a winner who looks like me: not just black, but also with a wheelchair.

Black Girls Rock! has already celebrated at least one person with a disability; 2017 honoree Got Girma is a lawyer for deaf and blind people with disabilities. But there is so much stigma and error about my wheelchair that I still have the hope that one day a prize winner will see him roll across the stage.

This goes far beyond the award ceremony. Can you imagine a black woman in a wheelchair playing a leading role as a lawyer, doctor, politician or interested in a blockbuster movie or television series?

Although it is not always easy, I have learned that there is an unrivaled beauty instrument here to be a black woman with disabilities.

In the summer of 2011, I was interned in the White House under the former Women's Council of President Obama for women and girls. I was again invited to serve in the White House Disability Liaison Disabled African American Kitchen Cabinet, which consisted essentially of a group of trusted advisers who could provide feedback on important guidelines. Disability Contacts Taryn Mackenzie Williams The Gastrointestinal Disease Ulcerative Colitis has, and Claudia Gordon which is deaf. You have shown me that it is a special power to make you visible as a disabled black woman in this world. I wanted to be with them directly, which is why I became an advocate for black women with disabilities.

However, I still have days when I do not feel so strong.

So, when I lose sight of the power that goes hand in hand with my overlapping identities, I tap back into my handicapped black girl magic.

I remember that God did not make a mistake.

I can not tell you how many sisters have tried to pray my disability . This pity contributes to the sense of worthlessness that I have felt in some places, because when people are constantly sending the message that you are "less than" it is difficult to not believe in it. But God made no mistake with me. I do not have to be repaired or repaired. Reminding myself that I am whole helps to counteract these feelings.

I tell myself that there is a disability disability although too many men have seen me and shouted, "Damn girl, you're too pretty to be in a wheelchair to sit! "That does not flatter. I say my wheelchair should make me less desirable, which could not be further from the truth.

Similarly, a former boss thought he would compliment me by saying, "You are not handicapped." My answer? "It's not up to you to decide." Not only is there nothing wrong with being disabled – I'm also proud of it.

I am proud to be disabled met shock, confusion and opposition. But we disabled black women owe us to recognize our greatness, even if the world does not.

I accept that I have to work harder to prove myself, unfair as it is.

Black women who live with disabilities, treat the three-headed monster racism, sexism and talentism. I have realized that I have to work exponentially harder than most people to achieve my goals. I was faced with judgments on all fronts, but I use that to my advantage.

Most people underestimate wheelchair users, women and colored people. So, I'm boss, get my wheelchair going and prove they're wrong, and play with their ignorance as I step up to success on the ladder. (I often joke that I'm a silent threat on wheels.)

I remember being able to help others.

I founded the Educational Non-Profit Project to help young black women and disabled teens attend college. In 2011, I started with a refund check of $ 500 and a dream. In the first year of the ASCEND project, we surprised five African-American girls with college scholarships. To date, we have awarded scholarships of over $ 15,000 to black and disabled students. If the world is going to make black women and disabled people work harder to achieve their goals, I'm damn sure I'll help as much as possible.

I'm self-employed, writing journalists and finding myself with supportive people around me.

Sometimes I wish the doctors who repaired my heart could develop a similar cure for emotional heartbreak. Being disabled in a workable world is hard, not because of my disability, but because of how much of the world treats me. Journaling is crucial for me to make room for my feelings.

I also try to build friendships with other disabled black women. Aside from a personal meeting, disabled black women connect to the Internet through media such as the Divas with Disabilities and Women on Wheels project.

These friendships are among the most intimate and deep in my life due to our different shared lived experiences. But I have also decided to end some of these friendships when needed. It's heartbreaking and hard as our community is so small, but it's the right choice for me.

"Self-care can mean that you do not surround yourself with people who do not support you," says Stephanie Johnson, a neuropsychologist at Catholic University, tells SELF. "The company you keep [is] is very important."

I remember being from a long line of strong, black, disabled changemakers.

If you look hard enough, you'll see how disabled black women have touched the world.

Sojourner Truth a legendary orator who had a disability ignited the flames of modern feminism by talking about women's rights and the abolition of slavery. Harriet Tubman freed hundreds of slaves while living with seizures and narcolepsy. Fannie Lou Hamer who was limp, campaigned for civil rights and coined the iconic phrase, "I'm sick and tired, sick and tired". Audre Lorde used her experiences with Krebs as inspiration for various essay collections. Following his rape as a child Maya Angelou who taught us why the caged bird sings, he has had years of selective mutism (a disorder that is incapable of speaking in certain situations).

Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker visited Spelman, a historically black women's college, a disability grant because she was blind in one eye. Former Texas Congressman Barbara Jordan accompanied future leaders while coping with the effects of multiple sclerosis

ear for domestic violence. Simone Biles The World's Number One Turner has an Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD ).

There is no limit to the potential of disabled black women, who use our disabilities as a force to take over the world and bring justice to a society without equality. We are not a mistake. We are not a tragedy. We are disabled black girl magic.

Ola Ojewumi is a writer and organizer of the Washington D.C. she is
the founder of the global nonprofit educational organization, Project ASCEND . The Clinton
Global Initiative, MTV, Intel, Glamor Magazine and The Huffington Post have praised their charitable initiatives. Ola is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and a master of higher education in fringe groups. Follow her on Twitter @Olas_Truth .

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