Black History Month
October is Black History month in the UK. The theme this year is “Celebrating our Sisters, Saluting our Sisters, and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements”. You can find out more on the BHM website.
With the theme in mind, we wanted to highlight some of the Black and non-Black People of Colour living with disabilities who have made/ are making an impact so that we can celebrate and honour their work and achievements.
Marsha de Cordova
MP for Battersea since the 2017 general election, Marsha de Cordova has long been an advocate for disabled people’s rights, both personally and professionally. She is registered blind, and as an MP she has been involved in campaigning to make the Parliamentary Estate more accessible for disabled people.
Jumoke Addullahi and Kym Oliver: aka The Triple Cripples
The Triple Cripples was set up by dynamic duo Kym Oliver and Jumoke Addullahi, based in London, who were frustrated by the lack of representation for Black and other People of Colour living with disabilities. They are all about activism and being SEEN. You can read about them here.
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913)
Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist known for her work on the Underground Railroad, a remarkable effort to help runaway enslaved people to flee to safer areas for the US. Less well known is that Ms Tubman suffered from epilepsy as a result of a severe head injury she sustained when she was beaten by her slave owner at age 12. Even though she needed to take many rest breaks, Tubman ventured into the states where slavery was legal multiple times, saving many lives.
Johnnie Lacy (1937-2010)
Johnnie Lacy was a leader in the independent living movement in the US and fought for the rights of people with disabilities, especially people of colour. Lacy spoke of being excluded from the Black community due to her disability and from the disability community due to being a person of colour. As a Black woman in a wheelchair, she educated her communities about race and disability and served as a role model for many other Black disabled women.
Monique Jarrett is a model, influencer, advocate, ambassador, international wheelchair dance champion. Monique is an advocate for disabled body positivity and true representation of disabled people in the media, all while being an ambassador for several organisations and companies.