[nFBMI-Talk] Looking For Persons To Honor For Black History Month

Kane Brolin kbrolin65 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 6 17:56:53 UTC 2018


On behalf of my NFB Chapter, covering North-Central Indiana, I have
kicked off a special series of Facebook posts and tweets meant to
honor persons of color--possibly expanding the scope of those who take
part in my chapter or, or at least letting digitally-connected
African-American young persons know that blind people from their
ethnicity have contributed to the welfare of the blind and to our
movement in diverse ways.  My goal is to make one entry for each day
in the month of February.  So far, I have honored Harriet Tubman (who
was visually impaired); Dr. JW Smith, past president of our Ohio
affiliate; Anil Lewis of the NFB Jernigan Institute; Darnell Booker,
leader of the two-time defending beep baseball world champion Indy
Thunder; Ever Lee Harriston, current president of the NFB's California
affiliate; Lee Martin, who has spearheaded the Indiana affiliate's
NFB-NEWSLINE® efforts; Ron Brown; and Stevie Wonder (for his work with
Ray Kurzweil to develop and promote scanning technology). .  Wherever
possible, I am linking to the individual's Twitter feed, or to a
Website, podcast, etc., that tells more about him or her.

But I need help: more names and a few facts about the life associated
with the name, since it is my goal to fill the whole month of February
but don't want to add non-blind individuals just as "filler."  An
individual that goes up on our chapter's
social networks for Black History Month should be African or
African-American, as well as legally blind, as well as an exemplar of
Federation values.  I don't just want to honor celebrities that seem
familiar to the public at large just because they are blind and have
become stereotypes: e.g., Ray Charles.  Don't get me wrong, I love Ray
Charles' music; he had soul and had a great feel for the blues.  But
as far as I know, he was not in sympathy with the Federation; and I'm
not even sure he read or promoted the use of Braille.  I'd rather
locate some activists or scientists or academicians whom most haven't
heard of.  I have profiled Stevie Wonder, since he did help to develop
scanning technology.

It has been suggested that I mention Paul Howard, and I have thought
too about Dr. Carolyn Peters and Rich Payne of Ohio.  But I don't know
any of those three individuals well enough to understand what about
their lives stands out the most.

What I am doing--I'm sure you have figured this out--is to help
younger, digitally connected people to identify largely unheralded
individuals of color who have contributed to the history and
effectiveness of the organized blind movement somewhere.  It doesn't
have to be confined to the United States.  So these individuals don't
necessarily have to be American.  Perhaps I should
contact the RNIB, as persons of color contribute mightily to the
culture of the British Commonwealth, too, and I'm sure there have been some
awesome blind men and women in Great Britain or other places who are
mostly unfamiliar to us but who might still have had an unperceived
impact on us.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Kane Brolin, President
Michiana Chapter, National Federation of the Blind

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