Riley began by listing the names of some of history’s enslaved people in the state of Mich. She begins each talk in each different state in this same way. Setting a tone to the night, she asserted: “I will not shut up about slavery.”
For people with disabilities, engaging in the arts can be a frustrating and isolating experience. Around the world, countless theaters, museums and concert halls lack the proper accommodations necessary to be accessible to people with disabilities. In the last half-century, the global disability rights movement has made significant strides in securing the rights of people with disabilities to lead full, independent lives.
The ’60s are dead. Protests are dead. We go to plays to be entertained. We read the news to be validated. We are deaf. Nobody is murdered. Nobody disagrees. Theatre can be used for change, but it is used for assimilation.
One of the earliest childhood memories that I posses took place on the kindergarten playground. It was a crisp Michigan fall day and I was wearing an oversize pink windbreaker. My black curly hair was gathered into a messy ponytail, but uncooperative strands had fallen out to create more of an afro effect. Under the play structure, I was gathering wood chips from an awning, minding my own business. If I’d known the term then, I’d have said that I was zen.