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#WhenICallMyselfDisabled: The Power of Language and Identity

"I'm happy to be disabled. I'm proud of who I am."

Disabled, Loud & Proud

Imani Barbarin is a disability representation and inclusion advocate born with cerebral palsy. As a communications professional, public speaker, writer and blogger, she explores disability culture as well as society and business’s perceptions of disabled people from the perspective of a disabled black woman. A graduate of the Masters in Global Communications program at the American University of Paris, she uses her skills to advocate for the representation, inclusion and empowerment of disabled people at the intersections of race and feminism both in the United States and globally. Familiar with the ways in which stereotypes and preconceived notions isolate disabled people and dictate the ways in which we interact with the world, she seeks to break every single one of them.

“I started #WhenICallMyselfDisabled because so many people want to correct me. It gets exhausting. 1:19 I've often heard when I've called myself disabled, “Oh, that's not who you really are.” Or “That's a horrible thing to say about yourself.” But no, it's really not. I'm happy to be disabled I'm proud of what I am. I'm not going to hide away and pretend like it doesn't exist and I'm not going to make any sort of euphemism to make you feel better. Footage: scroll of #WhenICallMyselfDisabled That's not going to happen. Not anymore.”

She won’t hold your hand through your discomfort. She will not bend my words to fit your mind. She will not conjure words that don’t exist. She will not pray over her body to make you smile. Just say the word. When she calls herself disabled, it isn’t up for debate. It isn’t a conversation starter. It’s not a launching point for a greater conversation. It is not only with word that explains her body, but it also describes the ramps institutions and businesses refuse to build. It calls out the wages the world still refuses to pay. It shows the world the inclusion the world is slow to produce. Discomfort with the word disabled doesn’t merely describe her, but so many others with the hashtag #WhenICallMyselfDisabled inspiring hundreds of people to take the power back around their identity and language.

Brut.

07/11/2019 4:25 PM
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52 comments

  • أمينة ش.
    07/31/2019 23:02

    ربنا يشفيه يارب العالمين

  • Benjamin G.
    07/31/2019 21:55

    Bravo! j'aime ça!

  • الحاجة ا.
    07/31/2019 10:21

    ضعفوا نفسكم دايت رحم الله والديكم السمنه المفرطه تؤذي وانتم قادرين على انزال الوزن اما الاعاقه فهذه مشيأة الله ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله

  • Nelly J.
    07/30/2019 10:13

    Que dios los vendiga

  • Lancelot E.
    07/29/2019 22:18

    we support u bro

  • Arthur B.
    07/29/2019 10:54

    Im disabled and this indpires me to feel good about self

  • Ali A.
    07/29/2019 08:38

    What is the name of the music ?

  • Fatoumata S.
    07/28/2019 22:20

    Moi aussi je suis très fier je t'aime très fort ma chérie d'amour que dieu vous protége merci

  • Mazher H.
    07/28/2019 17:42

    Allah Taallah help tbe people of Brut

  • Mazher H.
    07/28/2019 17:41

    للہ

  • Jafar F.
    07/27/2019 19:53

    الله يحفظكم

  • Jose P.
    07/27/2019 18:55

    yes yes

  • Gopal S.
    07/27/2019 15:12

    Hemat aas next tak nai

  • Rebecca R.
    07/26/2019 23:27

    God bless her and all disabled

  • Saeed A.
    07/26/2019 18:28

    ربنا يشفيه يارب العالمين

  • Khurshida B.
    07/26/2019 07:02

    Pittiying yourself just makes you lonely . If you want to change your life , then just fight with your flaws

  • Nilofer A.
    07/26/2019 01:00

    Allah Huma Afihi

  • Salim K.
    07/25/2019 21:37

    بي الإرادة يتم النجاح ربي يعاونك

  • Colette B.
    07/25/2019 12:20

    I encourage you all to keep on the fight; there ils still a lot to be done for disabled to be part of normal life .

  • Matthew J.
    07/25/2019 01:36

    Disable is a negative term.