Things I’ve Learned In This Disabled Black Female Body

• There’s a limit to most people’s empathy; talk about disability rights, sure; talk about black lives and you’re a problem. 
• You will live your life in pieces. No one will truly understand all of you.

• Every time you say “goodbye” to your mother, father, or brother, you should be prepared for it to be the last time.

• Your white friends will grieve the death of a gorilla before they grieve the death of your father at the hands of police.

• Not all activism is handicapped accessible

• You’ll have to choose between being black and being disabled depending on the hashtag.

• You’ll be called privileged for going to college and questioned as to why you speak about disabled experiences you’ve never had, but those same people won’t walk with you to the disability office of your university—which is on the top floor of a building without an elevator.

• People will constantly speak as though you aren’t in the room.

• If people film you while helping you, they’re trying to go viral—unless there’s an officer approaching, then they’re trying to save your live.

• You won’t know whether your resistance in getting mental health can be attributed to the “Strong Black Woman Complex” or a desire to not have “one more thing wrong with you.” But you really, really need help.

• Your female peers will denounce catcalling and unwanted touching and groping, but when someone gropes and accosts you in the street because they’re feeling inspired, their silence will be deafening.

• That your friend’s and family’s familiarity with you will be used to ignore your day-to-day pain, because you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t “push yourself beyond your limits” even if it means being unable to walk the next day.

• “Body Positivity” is for the able bodied.

• Your made in the likeness and image of God until it’s time to be healed by a sidewalk Saint on a crowded street.

• Being alone may come with loneliness, but it will be the least exhausted part of your day.

• There’s someone for everyone as long as you can still kneel.

• You’ll grapple with the world thinking you’re weak; it could be the reason you never got that job or it could be the reason you’re alive after a cop crossed your path.

• People will expect you to calmly explain your terror when there’s no time to wait.

• People would rather protest the perception of pit bulls that that of murdered black men.

• Your body is not your own to live through, people will always want to be inspired by it, co-opt its curves, explore the roots of your hair, take you for their pleasure or infantilized.

• You will be constantly emotionally and physically exhausted and it will become your state of being.

• Privilege acquired by minorities and the disabled through wealth or status is not permanent, but a day pass with terms and conditions: stay quiet.

• We all have the right to vote so long as we remain passive and can climb the stairs to our polling location.


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