Disability and Black History Month

Amelia MaldonadoBlog

Throughout Black History Month, on our social media platforms,  we shared the stories of black leaders with disabilities who changed history. We are happy to share the collection with you here.

Lois Curtis was one of two women with intellectual disabilities who were held at Georgia Regional Hospital after their treatment team established that they could live independently. The women remained in the institution because the state did not want to fund independent living services. In a 1999 landmark decision the Supreme Court defended the rights of people with disabilities to live and work in community-based settings. Lois Curtis is now an artist and speaker based in George.

Leroy F. Moore Jr. is a writer, poet, lecturer, and disability activist. He is the founder of Krip-Hop Nation, a movement that uses hip-hop music as a means of creative expression for people with disabilities. He is also the founder of Sins Invalid, a disability performance art collective.  His performances, writing, and lectures often center around the intersections of race and disability issues.

Dr. Nathie Marbury was a true trailblazer. She was the first black deaf woman to do all of the following: complete the National Leadership Training Program for the Deaf at California State University, Northridge; to teach at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School for the Deaf; to be appointed to the Board of the National Association of the Deaf. In addition, she was known as a masterful storyteller and artistic performer.

In 1977, Joyce Jackson and other disabled demonstrators participated in a month-long sit-in in San Francisco to demand enforcement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She then traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with officials in the Carter Administration. Their efforts were successful, and accommodations were required to allow people with disabilities equal access to education, housing, and employment.

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Amelia Maldonado

Amelia is IRC's Community Relations Specialist and an expert on all things IRC. You will frequently find her typing away on her laptop, creating social media/web content, agency publications, and more. Outside of work her passions include smooshy face dogs, fitness, and roller derby!

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