Black Disabled Men Talk is a podcast where four black men discuss precinct social and political issues of the day. The four black men on this podcast are Leroy Moore, Keith Jones, Lateef McLeod, and Ottis Smith. Their bios are as followed below:
Leroy F. Moore Jr., Founder of the Krip-Hop Nation. Since the 1990s, has written the column “Illin-N-Chillin” for POOR Magazine. Moore is one of the founding member of National Black Disability and activist around police brutality against people with disabilities. Leroy has started and helped started organizations like Disability Advocates of Minorities Organiztion to Sins Invalid to Krip-Hop Nation. His cultural work includes film documentary, Where Is Hope, Police Brutality Against People with Disabilities, spoken-word CDs, poetry books and children’s book, Black Disabled Art History 101 published by Xochitl Justice Press. His upcoming graphic novel, Krip-Hop Graphic Novel Issue 1: Brown Disabled Young Woman Super Hereo Brings Disability Justice to Hip- Hop will be publish by Poor Press 2019. Moore has traveled internationally networking with other disabled activists and artists. More has wrote, sang and collaborated to do music videos on Black disabled men. Leroy’s graphic novel, Krip-Hop Graphic Novel Issue 1: Brown Disabled Young Woman Super Hero, Brings Disability Justice to Hip- Hop was published by Poor Press in early 2019 and his upcoming short stories book entitled Black Disabled Ancestors will be out in early 2020 also on Poor Press.
Keith Jones is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences. An organization aimed at bringing a perspective to the issues of access inclusion and empowerment, which affect him as well as others who are persons with a disability. Mr. Jones is also extremely active in multicultural, cross-disability education and outreach efforts and, conducts trainings (including train the trainer) with the purpose of strengthening efforts to provide services and information to people with disabilities.Mr. Jones over the past years has been recognized locally and national as a strong advocate on a wide breath of issues. Over his years as and advocate Mr. Jones has been awarded New Leadership Development Award From The President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. The Commonwealth Coalition’s Progressive Leadership Award the 2006 Moro Fleming Consumer Involvement Award from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, with as well as, a recent graduate of the inaugural class of Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership. Also, in 2008 long shot 2008 U S Senatorial bid based on “Fulfilling America’s Promise”.
Mr. Jones in his role as an advocate is a public speaker on the issues and topics that range from Education and employment to Health Care and Home and Community Based Services Intersection of Community Business and Public Policy Disability Rights and Inclusion. Most recently Mr. Jones has been featured in two critically acclaimed documentaries Dan Habib’s “Including Samuel” and Maggie Doben’s “Labeled Disabled”. In recent years Mr. Jones has worked with local and national organizations on a wide range of social justice issues. The issuers ranging from immigration and criminal justice reform to the redesigning of the accessible icon – each with a focus on giving voice to the concerns of those in those who are often excluded from the discussion. Mr. Jones has been called “a pioneer” in the disability rights movement and it is truly committed to progressive effective change. Mr. Jones hopes that by contributing to the dialog and working to create and improve on policies and attitudes, everyone will be able to pursue reaching their full potential. Which is why he believes in the mission of SoulTouchin’’ Experiences so strongly.
Lateef McLeod is building his career as a writer and a scholar. He has earned a BA in English from UC Berkeley and a MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. He is three years into the Anthropology and Social Change Doctoral program at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. He published his first poetry book entitled A Declaration Of A Body Of Love in 2010 chronicling his life as a black man with a disability and tackling various topics on family, dating, religion, spirituality, his national heritage and sexuality. He currently is writing a novel tentatively entitled The Third Eye Is Crying. He was in the 2007 annual theater performance of Sins Invalid and also their artist-in-residence performance in 2011 entitled Residence Alien. He currently is writing a novel tentatively entitled The Third Eye Is Crying and also completing another poetry book entitled Whispers of Krip Love, Shouts of Krip Revolution. More of his writings are available on his website Lateefhmcleod.com and his Huffington Post blog, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lateef-mcleod/.
Ottis Smith is a disabled African American digital artist out of California, engaging in the arts most of his life which led him to help establish a illustration and animation business called Otitographics. He is also a spoken-word artist who performed at various venues throughout the Long Beach area and Milwaukee Wisconsin. He completed his AA at Long Beach city collage then wrote and illustrated four comic books and currently working on his fifth, which features a disabled anti-hero who shares a similar story to his own. The first three comics however are titled “A Promise Broken” which is a series based on the teachings of his favorite African American scholar Dr. Chancellor Williams who authored ” The Destruction of Black Civilization.” His main motivation for even starting doing comic books specially African center ones, was to counter the negative images of what blackness is depicted to be. One such Tv series which angered him enough to begin his journey was the 2014 bible series which depicted Jesus as a White man and the devil as a Black man. “With constant negative images like these which are either directly or indirectly insulting blackness it is not hard to see why self-hatred is at a all time high.” he stated. His latest project however will highlight a disabled protagonist and promise to give us more of a glimpse into his personal life, it will touch on a array of topics such as over comic issues with self confidence, bullying, social justice issues and more with a African twist. Speaking of a African twist Ottis and the African American Museum of Beginnings have developed a healthy growing relationship and planning a book signing or authors meet and great there fairly soon. So be on the lookout but while you wait you may view his work on his site at www.otitographics.com.