Honoring African Americans with Dyslexia and other neurodiversity this Black Heritage Month.
Black Heritage Month (also known as Black History Month), is a time dedicated to honoring the countless contributions made by African Americans throughout the history of the United States. From slaves brought here in the early 17th century, to the African American trailblazers of today, we celebrate the resilience and determination of a community that has faced and overcome numerous obstacles.
In recent years, there has been a growing focus on neurodiversity, which recognizes the unique strengths and capabilities of individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions such as Dyslexia. It is crucial to shift the perspective on Dyslexia to become more inclusive and reflective of the diverse Dyslexic community, particularly within historically oppression in American communities of color. Despite the numerous examples of Dyslexic African Americans succeeding in various industries, their stories are not heard very often.
The intersection of race or ethnicity and neurodiversity can lead to many challenges and discrimination. Despite increasing discussions, the topic of racism and neurodiversity is still underrepresented and this lack of attention given to the issue only makes things harder for Dyslexic African Americans. Many face missed or delayed diagnoses due to unequal access to resources, cultural and linguistic differences, and implicit bias. Some individuals feel isolated and unsupported, leading to them suffering in silence. Dr. Jannett Morgan, Associate Program Director for the Diversifying Leadership Program, recalled “I did not receive assistance until I was in college because I did not want to be further identified and labeled as Dyslexic on top of the label of Black, of being a woman and from a Nigerian background. I decided to stay silent for as long as I could.” She further expressed this feeling through a poem entitled Neurodiversity, Race and Culture with Jannett Morgan on Diverse Minds where she said, “When so many things can hold you back, for nothing more for being Black / Who would want another label that says you are not able.” 
In order to create a more inclusive and supportive society, we need to continue acknowledging and addressing these intersecting identities. It is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of African Americans with Dyslexia, who have proven time and time again that color and neurodevelopmental condition do not define one's potential for success.
Check out some successful African Americans with Dyslexia whose stories are an inspiration:
LEXIA LEARNERS LOUNGE
Jess Arce is a homeschool mom of four, a tutor for children & adults who struggle with Dyslexia & Dysgraphia and an all around entrepreneur. She is passionate about helping others understand dyslexia.