Star Performances: Ed Roberts on the Speaking Circuit, 1983-1995

Scot Danforth

Abstract


This article uses historical research methods to explore noted disability rights leader Ed Roberts' performances on the speaker circuit between 1983, when he left his position as director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, and his death in 1995. This article examines how he managed his performed identity, his self as presented on stage, in order to be a disability star. Using his own life story as a poignant example, he narrated an autobiography of how a paralyzed man could live a vigorous, successful, indeed a joyful life. His personal stories communicated his lived experiences of battling discrimination and stereotypes. Roberts skillfully and strategically marshalled his own growing celebrity as the most prominent disabled American while he promoted the cause of civil rights for disabled people.


Keywords


Ed Roberts; performance; celebrity

Full Text:

HTML


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v40i4.7387

Copyright (c) 2020 Scot Danforth

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)