Disability Reads - The Pretty One by Keah Brown

As a young disabled person, my opportunities are endless. Around my birthday last year, this book – The Pretty One by Keah Brown came out. Many of my writing friends within the disability community were talking about it, and when I got Audible this was defiantly one of the books on my “Must read list”. Living with Cerebral Palsy can be difficult at times with the akes and pains we do get, but it can also be rewarding. Living with CP has given me many opportunities that I wouldn't have had if it wasn't due to my disability, and Keah reminded of this.

Image description: Keah is smiling at the camera while having her hand underneath her cheek. She is wearing a grey sweater and is standing on a footpath with lots of trees behind her. On top of Keah is a blank pink colour, and within this it says, “CREATOR OF THE VIRAL HASHTAG #DISABLED AND CUTE”, underneath this it says, “KEAH BROWN”. Within the faded trees it says, “Through her words we see that Brown is not just the pretty one; she is the magnificently human one.”, “- ROXANE GAY”, underneath this it says in big writing over Keah's Sweater, “The PRETTY ONE”. Underneath this is a plain yellow strip like the one on top, this says, “ON LIFE, POP CULTURE, DISABILITY, AND OTHER REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ME”.

Keah Brown is a black disabled woman, disability rights activist, writer, journalist and now an author of The Pretty One. In 2017 Keah founded the hashtag Disabled and Cute, but I didn't realise why until I read her book. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Keah battled her own wars with mental health during her time at school. Prior to this she saw herself as the same as everyone else in the playground, rather then disabled. Only in the recent years, Keah opened herself up and found the disability community, and be proud of who she was in the past, and who she is.

In this book, Keah went through her own ups and downs as a black disabled person. She explained why living with CP was a pain at times, but also rewarding. As a freelancer, she spends most of her time on couches reading books, writing up another article for work or even writing her book which she released last year. At the start of her book, I found it quite funny and interesting that Keah has a love for chairs that we do for our favourite holidays, movies and so on. She explained; "my chairs are loyal, but with vastly differently personalities, but an equal amount of appreciation for the butt of mine that sits in them." She found a way to have a relationship with the chair that she was sitting on, despite how long or short she was sitting on it, Keah always found a way to have a relationship with the chair that she was sitting on, despite how good or bad it was.

As a young disabled person my views of disability and of Cerebral Palsy are quite similar to her, (judging on only what I've heard through Keah's writing in this book). For me, reading this book gave me a reminder of the joy within my life, and how opportunities can come my way as a young disabled person. As someone living with CP, yes, my life is hard, but it can also be rewarding. Thank you, Keah for sharing your experience with the world. If you want to purchase her book, The Pretty One, you can (sorry international followers – These are recommendations for Australian stores only, but you can also google “The Pretty One by Keah Brown” and get her book);

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