Meet the Curators
The three curators below combined their immense skills, experience and wisdom to create this exhibit in the following ways:
Teraca Florence: Wrote the texts accompanying each section of this exhibit, including the introduction.
Najma Johnson: Remembered and reminded their fellow curators of the bigger picture of race in the United States.
Earl Terry: Used his experience as curator to guide his fellows through the process of selecting artwork.
And all three worked together to select and arrange the artwork in this exhibit.
Teraca (TeeFlo) Florence
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, TeeFlo (she/her/hers) received a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University. She shares her love for history, herstory, poetry, storytelling, and art of writing as a source of her existence. She utilizes self-love and self-care as her activism in honor of Audre Lorde, Zora Neale Hurston, and many warrioresses before her. When she is not working, she continues to pursue learning about herself and the communities by actively involving in the works for the community. Without a village, she is not who she is today.
Najma Johnson (they, them, theirs), a Black DeafBlind-DeafDisabled Transqueer who graduated from St. Mary's School for the Deaf (SMSD) in Buffalo, NY in 1995. While growing up, Buffalo, NY was listed as #6 most segregated cities in the nation. Naturally, their experiences with racial division, whether intentional or not, molded their worldview. SMSD became their saving grace because of access to language- American Sign Language. That is when racism became accessible to them. At the same time this led to access to the destructive forces of racism, anti-blackness and colorism.
Before becoming Blind, Najma was a photographer and an acrylic painter, focusing on Black, Brown and gray as a dominant color for their work. Najma co-founded Soul Shakin’ Images to do photography activism challenging the taboos of Black and Brown’s bodies, sexuality, and other connecting social norms that shun them. Since then, Najma has redirected their energy into writing. Najma has published Lesbian short stories, contributed to various authors in their publications. Najma and their partner, Mónica are developing a children series that focuses on systematic oppression and self-accountability.
Najma enjoys the work of Deaf Artists of Color, especially centering the DeafBlind and Deaf Disabled BIPOC’ s experiences in their artwork. Najma dreams of a world where art will be enjoyed by people who do not have access to vision and be completely accessible.
Clifford Earl Terry
My name is Clifford Earl Terry (he, him, his), but I prefer to be called Earl, (3-handshape, thumb on chest – sign name). I am currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. I recently moved back to Phoenix, Arizona after living in east coast for 20 years. I am an Afro-Latino American, DeafBlind, Gay male. I am an ASL teacher.
I graduated with a master’s degree in Sign Language Education and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Believe it or not, I once had dreadlocks for 14 years before I inevitably became bald; and I dislike watermelon. My favorite quote: “Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstance.” –Maya Angelou