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Black Disability Politics

Black Disability Politics

Sami Schalk
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In Black Disability Politics Sami Schalk explores how issues of disability have been and continue to be central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present. Schalk shows how Black people have long engaged with disability as a political issue deeply tied to race and racism. She points out that this work has not been recognized as part of the legacy of disability justice and liberation because Black disability politics differ in language and approach from the mainstream white-dominant disability rights movement. Drawing on the archives of the Black Panther Party and the National Black Women’s Health Project alongside interviews with contemporary Black disabled cultural workers, Schalk identifies common qualities of Black disability politics, including the need to ground public health initiatives in the experience and expertise of marginalized disabled people so that they can work in antiracist, feminist, and anti-ableist ways. Prioritizing an understanding of disability within the context of white supremacy, Schalk demonstrates that the work of Black disability politics not only exists but is essential to the future of Black liberation movements.


Sami Schalk is an Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture, especially African American literature, speculative fiction, and women’s literature. She has published on literature, film, and material culture in a variety of peer-reviewed humanities journals. You can follow her activities on Twitter (@drsamischalk), Facebook (Sami Schalk, PhD), and her website


  • Publisher: ‎Duke University Press Books (October 31, 2022)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Paperback: ‎224 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎147802500X
  • ISBN-13: ‎9781478025009
  • Item Weight: ‎10.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎6 x 0.46 x 9 inches
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