The Art of Autism celebrates black autistic influencers (Black History Month). If you have someone you’d like to add to this post, please comment below.
1. Anita Cameron
Anita is one of the original disability rights activitists in the United States. She worked on the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Read more about Anita on her blog Musings of an Angry, Black Womyn.
2. Angela Weddle
Angela is an acccomplished artist and an Art of Autism board member. See her art here.
3. Dr. Sarai Pahla
Dr. Pahla is an MD and a freelance medical translator who was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in South Africa. See her youtube talk on autism and girls below.
4. Dr. Angel Durr
Dr. Durr is an Ethical Data Strategist and Analytical Scientist, Founder & CEO of DataReady DFW. Visit her linkedin profile here.
5. Burnett Grant
Burnett is a Senior Lab Technician of Flabor Essences at ZoomEssence, Inc., a Neurodiversity Advocate at NDGifts whose mission is to build a social network that focuses on inclusion and neurodiversity in the work place.
6. Bernard Grant
Bernard is a PhD Candidate in English, Associate Fiction Editor at Tahoma Literary Review, Researcher and Writer at Grit & Flow, Neurodiversity Advocate at NDGiFTS. His website is here.
7. Stephen Wiltshire
Stephen is an artist who draws detailed cityscapes. He has a particular talent for drawing lifelike, accurate impressions of cities, skylines and street scenes after having only observed them briefly. His nickname is the “Human camera.” Visit his website here.
8. Tyla Grant
Tyla is a neurodiversity advocate and host of the One Percent podcast.
9. Lauren-Rochelle Fernandez
Lauren is an Autism, ADHD & Mental Health activist, advocate, ambassador. Founder of Mask Off. Mask Off strives to empower, educate and destigmatise neurodiversity and mental health, with the aim to highlight racial and gender disparities and inequalities faced by service users and their families.
10. Michael (Hot Mike) Buckholtz
Michael is a multi-platinum music producer for such acts as M.C. Hammer. Visit his website at https://officialhotmike.com/
11. Jade Logan (Joy Chaos)
Jade is a freelance, comic artist. Visit her website here.
12. Elise Nicole Bowen
Elise is a music composer. Listen on Spotify.
13. Avery Ahmer Tik Tok Influencer Avery Ahmer uses his platform to talk about autism. He has of this writing over 60,000 followers.
14. Kayla Smith
Kayla is a Black Autistic Disability Rights Advocate and creator of #AutisticBlackPride. Follow her on her youtube channel.
15. Kris Young
Kris is a writer and has the blog site Black Neuroqueer Punk.
16. Jackie Pilgrim
Jackie is on the Board of NAMI and speaks and writes about the intersectionality between race and disability.
17. Armani Williams
Armani is a Detroit-based professional Nascar race driver. Read more about him here.
18. Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
Morénike is an Advocate, Public Speaker, Writer, Educator, and Researcher. Visit her website.
19. Michael Fuller
At a young age Michael could download music in his head. He could play Mozart by ear at age 11.
20. Melissa Simmons
Melissa is a campaigner on Autism and Neurodiversity and intersections with race and faith. She is the founder of MisTÂûght and the creator of Black History Month for Dummies & White Teachers. Follow her on Twitter.
21. Lamar Hardwick
Lamar known as the Autism Pastor is a disability advocate, pastor, and an author. Follow him on his website.
22. Kambel Smith
Kambel Smith is an artist who is known for his complex architectural pieces. This year alone Kambel has sculpted the Sydney Opera House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh, the New York Flatiron Building, and an 11-foot Chrysler Building.
23. Ronaldo Byrd
Ronaldo is New York based artist known for his vibrant portraits. Follow Ronaldo on his website.
24. Ikea ‘Syance’ Wilson
Syance is a talented artist and musician who is a synesthete. She is known for her unique detailed art. See her works on this website.
25. Kris McElroy
Kris McElroy is a freelance writer, artist, and advocate. He is passionate about social justice issues and exploring race, disabilities, gender identity & sexuality, mental health, identity, trauma, and intersectionality. Born and raised in Maryland, Kris is an autistic biracial black transgender man with multiple disabilities who enjoys spending time with his wife and family.
26. Talia Grant
Talia is the first female actress who is autistic to land a mainstream role on British television, according to production company Lime Pictures.
27. Kalin Bennett
Kalin Bennett made history as the first person with autism to receive a Division 1 scholarship to play basketball.
28. Tom Wiggins
Known as Blind Tom, Wiggins was a former slave who turned into an incredible musician who traveled around the world,playing the piano to sold-out concerts.
29. John Howard
John Howard, AKA “Doomsday” is a mixed martial arts competitor who started as an electrician before pursuing his dream as a mixed martial arts fighter.
30. Morgan Harper Nichols
Morgan Harper Nichols is a writer, artist, storyteller and social influencer who was formally diagnosed with autism in 2021.
We hope you comment below others we should know. Follow Autistics of Color on The Art of Autism website.
While it is fantastic to link this post to Black History Month; would it be possible to do this every month, regardless of age, race, color, religion, gender, ethnic origin, or any other of hundreds of differences in people of persons in the Spectrum?
It is very beautiful to see these persons cherished for their accomplishments, which from my personal perspective, are far above the achievements in my life.
Kudos to each and every honored person in this post, and all of those honored through the existence of ‘The Art of Autism’.
Peace, Happiness, and Beauty to all!
WOW I CANT EVEN EXPRESS HOW MUCH THIS MEANS TO ME AND MY WHOLE FAMILY!!!
This is FANTASTIC to see so many of those mentioned in the list, we have connected with some how through online events and social media! 11 years ago this was something I would of never have seen.
Jackie Pilgrim, Lauren Fernandez, Melissa Simmonds, Tyla Grant, Lamar Hardwick, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, Kayla Smith, Marcus Boyd and Stephen Wiltshire… UK and USA autistic Black voices..
I am honoured to be listed here, thank you!
So happy I came across this list. Gives me hope for my little boy. I found out he’s autistic a few months ago and am doing the work to make sure he gets the attention and help he needs.
Would love to see artist Morgan Harper Nichols on here!
Jordyn, we added Morgan Harper Nichols to our list. Thank you!
Nice blog I really like your blog it’s very informative nowadays autism becoming a problem for everyone and it slowly-slowly started to spread to the masses and it is a very serious problem and it is very important that people became more aware so that they can handle this situation properly and able provide required social support for persons with disabilities. The genesis of Manzil was a non-profit support group called ‘Special Families Support’ which was started by our Director Dr Ayesha Husaini on 9th December 1999. The group grew to over 200 members and is one of GCC’s oldest non-profit groups focusing on the social inclusion of people of determination. Please check our website manzil center more.
I’d be honoured if you added me. I’m Canadian-Barbadian and the author of, “How to Parent Like an Autistic.” I’m a (very vocal/public) autistic self-advocate
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