[Photo credit: HolLynn D’Lil. Brad Lomax, center, next to activist Judy Heumann at a rally in 1977 at Lafayette Square in Washington.]
by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)
Today, GBN celebrates Brad Lomax, the Black Panther Party member and disability activist who helped lead the “504 Sit In” to demand the federal government provide accessibility in a federal buildings and institutions.
To read about Lomax, read on. To hear about him, press PLAY:
[You can subscribe to the Good Black News Daily Drop Podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, rss.com or create your own RSS Feed. Or listen every day here on the main page. Full transcript below]:
Hey, this is Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor in chief of goodblacknews.org, here to share with you a daily drop of Good Black News for Thursday, April 28th, 2022, based on the “A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar” published by Workman Publishing.
As a young adult, Black Panther Party member Brad Lomax was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. When he started using a wheelchair every day, Lomax began to notice an often unseen “ism” — ableism.
Public buildings and transit without ramps. Inaccessible schools, housing, and workplaces. Lomax joined the Center for Independent Living, the Bay Area group which successfully lobbied for curb cuts on street corners.
In 1977, Lomax helped lead a protest that became known as the “504 Sit-In” in the San Francisco Federal Building, where disabled activists took the federal government to task for not implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which required accessibility in all federal programs and institutions.
The protest lasted longer than any other sit in in United States history. The protestors were assisted by Lomax’s fellow Black Panthers, who delivered provisions to the activists daily.
After a month, the government finally began to implement Section 504 in all federal programs and institutions and this action helped pave the way for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
To learn more about Brad Lomax, the 504 sit in and the disability rights movement, read the 2020 New York Times feature article on Lomax from its Overlooked No More series, read The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation by Doris Fleischer and Frieda James from 2011, and watch the 2020 documentary Crip Camp, now on Netflix.
Links to these sources and more are provided in today’s show notes and in the episodes full transcript posted on goodblacknews.org.
This has been a daily drop of Good Black News, written, produced and hosted by me, Lori Lakin Hutcherson.
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