Black #Disability History: Leroy F. Moore Jr., Poet, Krip-Hop Artist, and Community Historian

Leroy F. Moore Jr. (1967 – )

Leroy F. Moore Jr. is an African American writer, poet, activist, and community historian. He was born with cerebral palsy to an activist family in New York, and from the beginning has been aware of and advocated with reference and reverence to both of his identities, as a black man, and as a man with a disability.

He is notable for the creation of Krip Hop – a movement that uses hip-hop music as a means of expression for people with a disability.

Image: Leroy Moore, arms crossed

Image: Leroy Moore, arms crossed

Krip-Hop Nation came from my experiences as a young Black disabled boy growing up in the late 1970’s and 80’s in a White suburb of Connecticut. Always being the only Black disabled youth in almost everything I did from special education to being mainstreamed, from playing with White non-disabled kids in my neighborhood to my early days in activism with my parents, to my many years of volunteering in disability non-profits to college classes In all of these experiences I always had the same question: Where were the other people who looked like me as a Black disabled young man? With this continuous question of race and disability along with my love of poetry and music, I started to question the arena of music and performance around the representation of musicians with disabilities, especially disabled musicians of color.

Since the 1990s, Moore has written the column “Illin-N-Chillin” for POOR Magazine. Moore is also a co-founder & community relations point person with Sins Invalid: a San Francisco performance arts collective on disability and sexuality that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized from social discourse. Additionally, he currently serves as the Chair of the Black Disability Studies Committee for the National Black Disability Coalition.

You can read more about Leroy Moore here: http://www.amoeba.com/blog/2008/07/jamoeblog/krip-hop-project-s-leroy-f-moore-on-being-black-disabled.html

You can read more about Krip-Hop here: http://www.wordgathering.com/issue22/essays/moore2.html

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