A message from Commissioner McCosh: Black History Month
Dear Disability Community Members,
As we know, the disability community includes people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, racial and economic backgrounds. There is a strong effort underway to recognize this intersectionality in the disability community - not only to ensure inclusion, but to ensure Civil Rights to those in every protected class.
The ADA came on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, and it provided a model for disability advocates to follow. Although we have a lot more work to do on equity for people of color and for people with disabilities, these laws have given advocates a path forward.
On that note, I want to take a few moments to talk about Black History Month, celebrated during February to honor the accomplishments of people of color. I’d like to highlight the work of some strong African American disability advocates. The short list below includes names of some people who you might recognize, but you may not know had a disability.
- Harriet Tubman - Anti-slavery Advocate who had Disabilities
- Muhammad Ali - Dyslexic Role Model Who Fought in the Ring and for Racial and Social Justice
- Maya Angelou - Legendary Poet and Civil Rights Activist Who Had a Disability and Inspired Generations
- Halle Berry - Actress Living with Disability While Taking a Stand against Domestic Violence
- Simone Biles - Olympic and Disability Champion Makes History While Mesmerizing Many
- Haben Girma - Deafblind Lawyer Advocates for Disability Rights
- Claudia Gordon - Deaf African American Lawyer and Anti-Discrimination Advocate
- Solange Knowles: Role Model for African American Performers with Disabilities
You can read more about the accomplishments of Black people with disabilities at RespectAbility, who put together this list. We honor their work and continue to follow in their footsteps
As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you need any information or assistance. You can dial 311 to reach City Hall, or call us at 617-635-3682. Our email is email@example.com and the latest updates are available at Boston.gov.
Until next week, please stay informed, stay safe, and stay healthy.
Commissioner Kristen McCosh