July isn’t just the best month of Summer (though it's been full of thunderstorms on the east coast), it is also Disability Pride Month! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990.
Every July we celebrate Disability Pride Month to:
- recognize the passage of this law,
- raise awareness of the identities, cultures, achievements and struggles of folx with disabilities
- challenge ableism and discrimination in our communities/society
- gain understanding of ways that the system still fails Disabled Americans, despite ADA.
Tuma’s Books Reading Challenge Prompt for July is to read a book with BIPOC Disability Representation. So, of course we got some amazing recommendations to help you out.
Haben: The DeafBlind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma (Eritrean/Ethipian Rep; Memoir)
The incredible life story of Haben Girma, the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, and her amazing journey from isolation to the world stage.Girma's story is sure to inspire us to go after her dreams regardless of the obstacles that might stand in our way!
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century Edited By Alice Wong (AAPI Author/Diverse Rep; Stories)
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent--but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people. Also check out the YA adaptation!
This collection of essays from first-person interviews by Wong is sure to expand our perspectives helping us challenge abelist biases we might hold within ourselves.
Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (AAPI Author; Nonfiction)
In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all.
It's important for us to understand that though there's been a lot of progress for disabled Americans, there are still many ways institutions discriminate and make life harder for folks who are disabled. This collection of essays will teah and inspire us to speak up and act in instances of abelism and injustice.
A Day With No Words by Tiffany Hammond and Kate Cosrove (Children's; Black Rep; Autism)
A Day With No Words invites readers into the life of an Autism Family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language. This is a powerful picture for BIPOC autistics. Representation for autism is too overly male and white with very similar manifestations. We need more books about BIPOC folks and women with autism, as well as non-speaking autistics. That's why A Day with No Words is so special. When we discovered this book, we immediately recommendation it to our former employer--a school in Harlem with a program for students with autism. Every classroom, library, and home needs this book!
The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown (Essays; Black Rep; Cerebral Palsy)
From the disability rights advocate and creator of the #DisabledAndCute viral campaign, a thoughtful, inspiring, and charming collection of essays exploring what it means to be black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America. Another important essay collection to teach us about intersectionality of disablity and race in the US. Have you ever considered how many places you may visit do not have a ramp or automatic door that is wide enough for a wheelchair? You will after reading this collection, as well as other ways our world isn't accessible for many Americans.
Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester (Latine Rep; YA Fiction; Hip Dysplasia)
In this gorgeously written and authentic novel, Verónica, a Peruvian-American teen with hip dysplasia, auditions to become a mermaid at a Central Florida theme park in the summer before her senior year, all while figuring out her first real boyfriend and how to feel safe in her own body.
Pinned by Sharon G. Flake (YA Fiction, Black Rep)
Award-winning author, Sharon G. Flake, presents a powerful novel about a teen boy and girl, each tackling disabilities.
Autumn and Adonis have nothing in common and everything in common. Autumn is outgoing and has lots of friends. Adonis is shy and not so eager to connect with people. But even with their differences, the two have one thing in common--they're each dealing with a handicap. This is a great book to show youn people that it's okay to have learning or physical disabilities. Told in alternating POVs (I love love love dual narratives) Autumn and Adonis develop a special friendship as they accept their struggles and transform them to their greatest assets.
I hope you find new diverse reads to validate, inspire, and teach you about disability representation! Which titles do you want to read first?
Check out these options and many more on our “July Spotlight: Disability Pride Recommendation” shelf at Bookshop.org (while it's still highlighted)! Order today and support Tuma’s Books.