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Day 7: Imani, Disabled-ly

Day 7: Imani, Disabled-ly

Habari Gani! What’s the news?

Imani! No, not that Imani, silly!

Well, as Kirk Franklin said, “Cause you know I got faith, yeah yeah!”

Like I said in the original Imani post, it makes sense that this would be the last principle.  We started with the Unity and solidarity amongst the disabled community.  We worked our way through action principles.  And now we end with faith. Faith that the work we have done will bear fruit.

As a disability activist, faith is a necessity!  It can get so frustrating at times because you put in all this work.  You talk until you are out of wind.  And still, it seems no one is listening. No one is paying attention.  You might want to quit.  But no, Imani! Faith! Faith that we are reaching at least one person.  And that person will reach another.  Then faith that our work, as activists will make the changes we want to see, if not for us, then for the next generation.

Now, go enjoy your karamu!

Harambe! Heri Za Kwanzaa, disabled-ly.  Thank you for celebrating with me.  I hope you have a happy and prosperous new year.

Day 6: Kuumba, Disabled-ly

Day 6: Kuumba, Disabled-ly

Habari Gani?! Kuumba.

We are now on Day 6 of Kwanzaa, Disabled-ly.  Today’s principle is Kuumba, or creativity.  You can read more about Kuumba on the original post and see the types of activities you can do.

This principle is all about the creative living in each of us.  The disabled community is no different.  In fact, the disabled community gets creative even outside of the arts.  We have no choice! We a paint. We build. We sew. We craft. We write. We turn into MacGuyvers when we need to. (Do ya’ll remember him?).

Kuumba, Disabled-ly is a testament to our ability to overcome the structural/institutional barriers we face on a daily basis.  Whether we are figuring out how to live in an inaccessible apartment or do different tasks independently, we seem to figure it out.  Again, we have no choice.  I feel the best part is that we have no problem turning to each other for support as we ‘get our Kuumba on.’

There’s just one more night of Kwanzaa and on that night many people exchange gifts and enjoy a Karamu (feast).  Until then, how do you get creative?

Day 5: Nia, Disabled-ly

Day 5: Nia, Disabled-ly

Habari Gani ya’ll!! The principle of the day is Nia, or Purpose.  As I wrote on the original Nia post, “Nia is not just another principle about being uplifting and working together. But, it’s a principle focused on rehabilitating our community.”

The principle focuses on restoring the community to its traditional greatness.  I pains me to say that the disabled community hasn’t had a history of “greatness” as we know it.  That is not to say we don’t have great leaders and community members.  All I am saying is that when you look through disabled history, you will see it through an Abled lens.  Court cases, media, medicine, education, etc. have all been built or written in such a way that disabled people weren’t given space to be great.

Well, every generation there is that one person…the model disabled person, the token, the “inspiration”.  And guess what, we’ve been working to change that.  So here, instead of restoring our disabled community to its traditional greatness, we are building our own narratives, writing our own stories and letting people know how great we have always been.

Then, a few generations from now, WE will be the example of traditional disabled greatness.  We move with purpose.

Visit “Nia means Purpose” for some activities for the day and, see how you can make it work, disabled-ly.

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