The Disabled Students Group celebrates Black History Month: An interview with Frankline Orinde

We interview a disabled activist, Frankline Orinde, who shares his experiences on the intersectionality between being disabled and a person of colour.

October is Black History Month which was originally created to draw attention to the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It is now celebrated around the world including in the UK. You can find out more about it here:

Now onto the interview:

Hi Frankline, thanks so much for taking the time to discuss your experiences today.
What is your Ethnicity and how do you celebrate it?

I’m a Black African. I celebrate by watching documentaries, attend events that are related to my cultural background including art shows.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

It is the appreciation and acknowledgement of Blackness and how it permeates all aspects of society. It’s the recognition of people and a culture that transcends the racism and imperial formations across the world. It is a celebration of Black men, women, and PWD.

How do you partake in Disability Activism? 

I share disability articles and action alerts on my social media platforms, amplify the voices and work of disabled activists and I tell my own disability story. I connect advocacy for myself and loved ones with disabilities (friends), and activism for the broader disability community and I remember disability issues like disability mainstreaming whenever I vote.

Are there any Black and/or Disabled Activists who have particularly inspired you?

Emmanuel Banda, Renee Bryant, Neha Chudasama and Junior Bishop

Is there anything you would like to share with other Disabled people?

Disability is not a bad word at all. Disabled personalities, we are abled differently, and all we need is equality, fairness, and the chance to not only showcase our abilities, but also to thrive. We have to strongly, and candidly voice our concerns to make the world a better place. PWD also deserve employment opportunities!

How do you like to relax and take care of your mental and physical well-being?

I take time in the gym doing exercises and keeping fit, listen to music, read. Through my social media accounts, I take time to talk about disability, equality, inclusion and creating awareness – this gives me a lot of pleasure and keeps me relaxed.

How can people celebrate Black History Month?

Visit art exhibitions, support black owned businesses, donate to charities that advocate against racism and as the internet has made the world a global place, use it as a tool to create awareness and advocate against racism.

Is there anything else important you’d like to use this platform to discuss?

The inclusion of people with disabilities into everyday activities/workplaces, in the public space etc. involving practices and policies designed to identify and remove barriers such as physical, communication, and attitudinal, that hamper individuals’ ability to have full participation in society, the same as people without disabilities. Inclusion involves:

• Getting fair treatment from others (non-discrimination);

• Making products, communications, and the physical environment more usable by as many people as possible (universal design);

• Modifying items, procedures, or systems to enable a person with a disability to use them to the maximum extent possible (reasonable accommodations);

• Eliminating the belief that people with disabilities are unhealthy or less capable of doing things (stigma, stereotypes).

Thank you Frankline! 

Find out more about the Disabled Students Group here.

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