Monday, May 22, 2006


This week, I was interviewed by the scholarship committee for the American Council for the Blind. According to one of the committee members, I am one of the top candidates for their annual scholarship program. I was so excited; and not because of the obvious perk of possibly getting the scholarship. The money… I was excited that anyone thought enough of me to think that I deserved to be honored. And most of all, I was excited to be considered to be a prospective scholarship recipient by a group of courageous, overcoming, leaders in the blind community.

To tell you the truth, that’s a major paradigm shift for me. In the past, I really didn’t care to embrace or to be embraced by the blind community. But now that I am mature and able to understand that being blind is not the end of the world, I can readily grasp the importance of aligning myself with other people that are on the same path that I’m on. The path to independence, freedom, liberation, respect, self sufficiency, love, respect, and autonomy...

Hating blindness caused me to somewhat hate my life and hate anything that had to do with being blind. Because the organizations that serve the blind (AFB, ACB, and NFB) do not look at blindness as being a curse or the worst thing that could happen to a person, I sincerely thought the people that were apart of them were out of their minds. So, I didn’t want to have anything to do with the organizations. Celebrating being black and being a woman was cool to me. But celebrating blindness was outright idiotic.

Now, I’m finally at a place that I understand that they were not celebrating blindness per say. These organizations are celebrating the accomplishments, the potential, the courage, the faith, the determination, the stamina, the insistence, and the patience that people who are blind have, despite being blind. When you know what I know about blindness, you realize that when a person has enough courage to rise above blindness, it’s a beautiful, magnificent thing.

(I feel like shouting right about now! What a mighty God I serve! A God that can make darkness turn into light. A God that can give you solace in the darkest hours of your life.)

I made a commitment to join the American Council for the Blind. I know it’s time for me to be apart of this great organization. Plus, my greater understanding of disability and the effects of disability really motivates me to get behind any person, group, or program that’s demanding better access to housing, employment, and technology for the blind. I have a lot of work to do. And I’m ready to get to working.

One way or the other, I’ll let you know if I was offered the scholarship. If I get it, I have to go to Jacksonville, Florida to accept the award. I’m looking forward to the money, the trip, and the fellowship with other people that are blind. Wish me luck.

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