From Vilissa Thompson, LMSW: Black Disabled Woman Syllabus

“Over the past few weeks, I have been approached by individuals who wanted to understand the Black disabled experience, particularly the plight of Black disabled women and why our struggles matter.  (The inquiries picked up when I published my “Lemonade” post last week.)  I noticed a pattern from those who asked of my knowledge and personal reflections:  many are ignorant of the experiences of Black Americans in general, Black women particularly, and when broken down further, Black disabled women specifically.

I decided that as someone who views herself as an “educator” within my advocacy scope, it would be fitting to create a compilation of books, essays/articles, speeches, music, and other bodies of work that accurately explains the diverse forms of Blackness that exists for Black women, and how the lives of Black disabled women meshed within that discourse.

I asked some of my incredible friends and fellow advocates for resource recommendations for this idea, and was provided a wealth of information that surpassed my hopes in establishing a “syllabus” of our intersectional experience.

The Black Disabled Woman Syllabus is a “living” document; meaning that I aspire to update it as needed, when resources become available that should be added to it.”

Vilissa Thompson, LMSW: Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate, and Founder of Ramp Your Voice!

Vilissa is also the creator of #DisabilityTooWhite and #WOCwD: Women of Color with Disabilities. She is an official #MacroSW chat partner and has also been featured in Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian’s The People Who Inspire Series.

The Black Disabled Woman Syllabus contains a multitude of resources in the following categories:

  • Black Feminism/Womanism
  • The Black Disabled Body & Identity
  • Articles About Black Feminism and/or Disability
  • Books About Blackness in America
  • Fiction and Poetic Works
  • Audio and Video
  • Music

Visit The Black Disabled Woman Syllabus for more information.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones

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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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