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Celebrating 40 Years of Disabled Lesbian Activism and Art

Image description: Four photos of disabled lesbians. #1: Color photo of people in a park, some of them holding a giant banner that reads “Honoring Dykes with Disabilities.” #2: Two women playing basketball in wheelchairs. #3: a black woman with glasses and natural hair playing ping pong. #4: Two light-skinned women dancing with AXIS, a physically integrated dance group. One woman in a wheelchair, and the other woman is…it’s hard to describe, but she’s upside-down, with her legs in the air, and her head in the woman’s lap, simulating oral sex.

These images come from Fabled/Asp, an organization that aims to “combine storytelling and filmmaking to document and continue the revolution in queer disability arts, aesthetics, politics and culture.” They’re such a great resource for history, culture, and politics of disabled lesbians.

I’m confused… What’s exactly “disabling” about the natural haired black woman playing ping pong?

According to the article, the “natural haired Black woman” playing ping-pong is “Pandoura Carpenter, Director of the Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theatre.” 

Ms. Carpenter recently departed us in 2008, suddenly. According to one of her obits:

…From meeting Dr. Martin Luther King during “70’s Black community organizing and working with urban youth in Rochester, NY; to staffing Woman To Woman bookstore in Denver; to her involvement in many Bay Area communities and social movements, she was an open-hearted and creative Life-affirming force against all prejudice. She was a writer, artist, performer, ally to all oppressed people, and a lifelong jazz devotee. She loved working with children and youth…

Living in Rochester, N.Y. until 1977, she studied history and began to write and perform as a high school student. She was an active member of the young Black generation that created FIGHT Square housing and community groups there. She joined writing groups, performed poetry and reported on the jazz scene for The Communicade Black newspaper.

1980, she was a hub of Feminist activism. She and other women were arrested there for protesting a movie that purported to show the actress being killed. The women’s community rallied support for those arrested, know as “The Blue Bird Five.”

She also worked with the feminist newspaper Big Mama Rag there. In the Bay Area since 1980, she participated in the Oakland Black Writer’s Guild, was an early member of the Mexican Museum, co-founded the Black Lesbian Newsletter, edited the anthology Ordinary Women Extraordinary Lives, supported the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley, directed a play at Brava Theater, and wrote and acted for Wry Crips Disabled Women’s Theater.

She was a founding member of Progressives Challenging Anti-Semitism multicultural support group. As a taxi cab driver here, she was known as “Pat” and was loved by many of her regular fares. She has sold her artwork at the Women’s Crafts Fair at Fort Mason.

She was a skilled mediator with Conciliation Forum of Oakland where she taught mediation skills to young people. She was a mediator at East Bay Community Mediation in Berkeley at the time of her death. She was currently working on a book about her cab driving experiences at the North Berkeley Senior Center writing class.

She was a member of Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland and a member of Lavender Seniors in Berkeley. Pandoura was a natural coalition builder. In addition to engaging with many African and Caribbean cultures, she embraced her family’s Native American (Powhaten) ancestry and supported Native Rights.

Her advocacy for Black, Jewish, Arab, Native American, Asian and Latino Rights was melded with her concern for Lesbian, Gay and Disability Rights. And, as a large woman, she fought size prejudice daily. She is survived by her life partner, Judy Andreas, goddaughters Lisa Brotz of Denver and Alexis Johnson of Berkeley, her mother Louise Carpenter, sister Pamela Ikpot and son Imoh, brother Mark Carpenter and son Mark, Jr. of Rochester.

If you get a chance, you should also check out the Wry Crips' page. They’re on Facebook as well!

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)


Israel Destroys Entire Gaza Neighborhood In An Hour

July 29th, 2014

An entire Gaza neighborhood is decimated within an hour by Israeli air strikes. The video is further proof that Israel has no regard for the life of innocent Palestinians.

Israel attacked Gaza’s only power plant on Tuesday, leaving the Palestinian territory’s 1.8 million residents with no electricity or running water and opened the possibility of an even graver humanitarian crisis.

After three weeks of violence between Israel and Gaza, more than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air and ground strikes. About 75 percent of Palestinian deaths have been civilians. Several thousand have been wounded and more than 100,000 displaced. Fifty-three Israeli soldiers have died, as well as three civilians.

Just look at the casualties. This is not a war, it is genocide.

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

The World is Not Your Fucking Oyster


  • Other people’s cultures do not exist for white people to seek their spiritual enlightenment
  • No one owes you an education, and initiation, or a history lesson simply because ‘you want’
  • No one has to include you in things because ‘you want’
  • No one has to hold their tongue, sweeten their words, or chop up sentences to make white people feel better about history- colonization, slavery, genocide, ect.
  • No one should be ‘grateful’ to you for your interest in said culture

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)




Rock was bused to schools in predominately white neighborhoods of Brooklyn, where he endured bullying and beatings from white students. As he got older, the bullying became worse and Rock’s parents pulled him out of James Madison High School. He decided to drop out of high school altogether and later received a GED.

Just a reminder: Racism is not restricted to the South and it never was.

A wise black man once told me “that whites in the south like niggas in particular, not in general, and whites in the north like niggas in general, not in particular.”

my great grandma used to say that too^

(Source: fallsonamemory, via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

"The primary causes of poverty lie not in individual behavior at all, but in specific social and historical structures, in forces outside any single person’s control. If you haven’t lived it or even seen it firsthand, there’s almost no way to imagine it. Living in the ghetto, one faces problems with public housing, family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, the drug trade, negligent landlords, criminals, illness, guns, isolation, hunger, ethnic antagonisms, racism, and other obviously negative forces. Even forces that might seem positive in other circumstances- the law, the media, government, neighbors, police- can, in the ghetto context, make life miserable for the poor. And one has to contend will all of these forces- any one of which might be overwhelming- all at once, without a break. Turn to deal with one problem, and three attack you from behind. Experience a little unexpected bad luck, and you find yourself instantly drowning. The cumulative effect of the ‘surround’ is more than the sum of any of these individual forces. There is simply no space to breathe."

- Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen by David Hilfiker, M.D, xii & xv (via socio-logic)

(Source: twentyfirstcenturyvagabond, via knowledgeequalsblackpower)


YouTube comments aren’t “just the Internet.” They’re not the product of a group of otherwise nice guys who suddenly become evil when they wear a veil of anonymity. YouTube comments are actually a nightmarish glimpse into the sexist attitudes that define the fabric of our own existence in the “real world,” a world that, like YouTube, is owned and dominated by men. The most terrifying gift that the Internet has given us is that it’s shown us how men honestly perceive the world: as a place where women exist exclusively for their sexual pleasure.

In the wake of VidCon, and as more and more women start speaking up about the harassment they face online, it’s time to start realizing that our narrative of progress is deeply flawed. Things aren’t getting better for women on the Internet; they’re deteriorating and ignoring the problem amounts to being complicit in it.


- "For women on the Internet, it doesn’t get better" by Samantha Allen (via sunny-burn)

(Source: femfreq, via knowledgeequalsblackpower)


Everything comes in steps.
Negative step one: Get the white out of your hair.
Negative step two: Get the white out of your mind.
Negative step three: Get the white out of your parties.
Negative step four: Get the white out of your meetings.

Get the feeling out - this may be painful - endure.

Outline and implement the program.
All honkies and some negroes will have to die.
This is unfortunate but necessary.

Black law must be implemented.
The Black Liberation Front must take responsibility
for Black people.
If the choice is between the able and faithful,
the faithful must be chosen.
Blackness is its own qualifier.
Blackness is its own standard.

There are no able negroes.
White degrees to not qualify negroes to run
the Black Revolution.

The Black Liberation Front must set the standards.
There are international rules.

Acquaint yourself with the Chinese, the Vietnamese,
the Cubans,
and other Black Revolutions.
We have tried far too long to ally with whites.


- Nikki Giovanni, Program Protester  (via guitarbains)

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)