It’s Day 18 of our #DisabilityRightsInBlack series and we are elated to celebrate Civil Rights activist Ever Lee Hairston! Ms. Hairston is an advocate, motivational speaker and author of Blind Ambition: One Woman’s Journey To Greatness Despite Her Blindness. A dedicated member of the National Federation of the Blind for over 33 years, Ms. Hairston began her activism marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and remains a steadfast supporter of social justice efforts. Check out today’s video message for some enlightening words from this phenomenal woman.
Audio file of the poem What is it Like to Be Blind? by Ever Lee Hairston:
As I travel throughout the United States and abroad, many ask, “What is it like to be blind?” Well, I’d like to sum it up in these words:
I can’t see the trees, but I can touch the leaves.
I can’t see the ocean, but I can feel the breeze.
I can’t see a child, but I can hear one grow.
I can’t see your smile, but I can feel your glow.
I can’t see a hillside or rainbow I can’t find, but I’m not missing out on rainbows because they are painted on my mind.
I can’t see a garden, but I can smell the flowers.
I can’t see a timepiece, but I can certainly count the hours.
I can’t see a house, but I know when I’m at home.
I can’t see you sitting there, but I know I am never alone.
I can see joy.
I can see happiness.
I can see love.
I can see blessings from above.
So no, I may not be able to see a hillside or a rainbow I can’t find, but I’m not missing out on life because it’s painted on my mind.
– Ever Lee Hairston