Well-known writer, poet, and disability rights activist, Leroy Moore, visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC a few years ago.
The building, which opened in the National Mall in 2016, received praise for its architecture. One critic called it “the most ambitious public building in Washington in a generation”. The collection includes more than 40,000 objects, around 3,500 of which are open to the public.
While Moore enjoyed seeing the rich history in its exhibits, he was disappointed with something that was missing.
“There was nothing about disability,” recalled Moore of an audience of a few dozen people who had gathered on Zoom last Friday afternoon.
Not that Moore was surprised. Black people with disabilities are marginalized twice in American society because of their race and physical or mental impairment.
This is a big reason why representatives from the University of Missouri – St. The Louis’ Succeed Program invited Moore and his activist Keith Jones to a virtual event entitled “In Time with Leroy Moore and Keith Jones: The Voices of Black disability attorneys crank up “to speak.
Moore and Jones, both of whom have cerebral palsy, are two of the founders of Krip-Hop Nation, a movement that uses hip-hop music and other forms of artistic expression to enable disabled people to communicate and share their experiences.
MSW intern Jelena Basara, who works with the Succeed program, hosted the event, which was part of UMSL’s month-long celebration of Black History Month.
Tyler Haynes, a sophomore Succeed student, led the discussion with a series of questions including how the duo got involved in the activism.
“I learned from my mother that you have to fight for yourself,” said Moore. “That’s what I did. I saw my mother fight for myself, and not just for myself, but for my community as well – my black disabled brothers and sisters.”
“There’s nothing that says you have to be a lawyer for people with a disability,” added Jones, who grew up in Florissant, Missouri. “The reason you’re a lawyer is literally because society sucks being good company. As you stand up for this, you are trying to make it miserable so that you can just wake up and be who you are, be in your humanity and move through life. “
Both were inspired by their travels around the world, meeting and advocating for other disabled people.
“Disabled people have a rich culture, a rich history, a rich connection that we must be proud of,” said Moore, who authored books such as Black Disabled Art History 101 and Black Disabled Ancestors to celebrate those achievements .
Moore was touched by the number of people who thanked him for his work and what was being done to educate more people about the issues that affect people with disabilities.
He encouraged the audience, many of whom are successful students, to hug and learn about their disabilities.
Moore and Jones ended the two-hour session by sharing some of their work. Moore read a poem called “I’m Not Your Cripple” and Jones stunned the audience as he rapped a new single called “MC with CP”.
Short url: https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/?p=88313