My definition of Mothering as an act of Resistance aims to empower and to activate change - encouraging disabled and non/disabled families and communities to engage in conversations about acceptance, starting with how Disabled/Neurodivergent children are treated, valued and seen. When my son was diagnosed as Autistic at the age of three, I felt it important to begin redefining my role as a mother of a disabled child exploring how my art and design practice could inform a framework for community engagement advocating for Autistic communities, breaking the visual cycle of unjust stigmas within social and clinical practices in the process.
Living with undiagnosed ADHD, I felt led to release an disability advocacy photo zine In October 2018, entitled "KnoxRoxs" dedicated to my Autistic son, as a way to amplify #AutisticJoy giving visibility to children of color in Neurodiverse communities.
Since its release, the zine has received national and international recognition, including features on AfroPunk, Today at Apple, and among design presentations within disability communities at Nike, Converse and Amazon and countless book fairs around the world! It is permanently archived in Libraries at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
This zine is by no means a clinical journal or a ‘how to guide’ when it comes to parenting an autistic child. It’s a simple artistic expression examining the light and love a child can bring if you sit, look, and listen! It’s important take back our own narratives and tell stories for us and by us!
Image description :
Jen White Johnson KNOXROXS cover - black autistic boy is playing with his mother’s curly hair on a dark beige carpet. The photo is a close up shot of them laying on the carpet