I perceive there is one primary concern among people with mental retardation that neither professionals nor ministries deal with or discuss. This is the perception that persons defined as having mental retardation have of themselves and the way in which this community is viewed by the population at large. First, it has been apparent to those of us who live and work within the disability community that we have much for which we should thank the African American community. Most of the disability laws and court cases are built on the laws and court cases that resulted from their civil rights struggles.

I also believe that those who are responsible for the spiritual care of persons with mental retardation are in a perfect position to help teach another lesson taught by the African American community. I call it the “Black is Beautiful” lesson. Part...

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