In this video I share my story of how I found out that I'm losing my vision and other things that changed my life forever. Feel free to leave a comment below...
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016
Thursday, March 10, 2016
- (January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945) Franklin was the 32nd President of the United States of America and played a big role during World War II. Roosevelt eventually aided the poor and un-employed of America and restored order at various times during his Presidency. He was also the only President to ever get elected 4 years in a row mostly because of his help for the recovery of the economy. It has been said that Roosevelt had several disabilities including vision impairment.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Black History Month, as the late president Gerald Ford eloquently said in 1976, encourages Americans every February to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Prominent black Americans like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver often figure prominently in this discussion, whereas pathbreaking but lesser-known figures mostly get overlooked.
Like Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins.
Blind Tom may well have been one of America’s greatest musical prodigies, yet remains far too obscure in American culture and history.
Born a slave in Harris County, Ga., in May 1849, Blind Tom was unable to work the plantation owned by Gen. James Neil Bethune. He was therefore allowed to wander around freely and discover the world in a way that other black Americans of the time couldn’t have even dreamed of.
As the story goes, he was intrigued by the piano after listening to Bethune’s daughters play it. He was able to memorize pieces in a flash and, by the age of 5, wrote his first composition, “The Rain Storm.”
Bethune immediately recognized the young boy’s talent. He was moved into the family home in an adjoining room with a piano, and reportedly played for many hours each day.
As Blind Tom got older, he was loaned out to concert promoter Perry Oliver and toured the country. He was an immediate sensation, earning more than $100,000 per year and was often compared to great composers like Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
He astonished audiences, and could apparently play several songs at once. He had memorized somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 pieces of music. His magnificent 1861 composition, “The Battle of Manassas,” beautifully fits in with other great music from the Civil War era.
His admirers included then-president James Buchanan (he was the first black American to perform at the White House) and Mark Twain.
On the surface, it sounds rather idyllic. Alas, Blind Tom’s life was anything but.
Blind Tom had several strikes against him: his race, blindness and the fact that he was, most likely, an autistic savant. For all of his natural ability in music, the author Willa Cather once described him as little more than a “human phonograph, a sort of animated memory, with sound producing power.”
He was unable to take care of himself, couldn’t communicate his own wants and needs and often spoke in the third person. Some have even suggested he wasn’t aware of the fact that he was an African American.
Moreover, Blind Tom has been called the last legal slave in America, and there may be some truth to this. He went through a series of custody battles within the Bethune family, and bounced from city to city. He served as little more than a sideshow attraction to an adoring audience, and died a pauper in June 1908.
Hence, he was never really a free man.
There’s another sad part to this tale. No original recordings of Blind Tom appear to exist. His sheet music is available, but only a small number of musicians have ever recorded his original songs. The most well-known album, “John Davis Plays Blind Tom,” was brought out in 2000. The irony? Davis, a talented musician and historian, is white.
Blind Tom’s life was a living hell — there’s no denying this. At the same time, the musical legacy that this incredible (albeit troubled) pianist born into slavery left behind is worthy of greater discussion and, in turn, national recognition.
Indeed, Blind Tom is precisely the figure we should be celebrating during Black History Month (or anytime, of course). Blind Tom Wiggins’ difficult journey and neglected accomplishments mask a classic American tale of genius, talent, determination and inspiration.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Andrea Bocelli - (born 22 September 1958) He is a famous Italian tenor who throughout the course of his career has recorded more than 20 classical and pop albums, and seven complete operas, selling a total of more than 65 million albums throughout the world.
Andrea Bocelli had become blind at the age of 12 years old following a football accident in which he was hit in the head. At 6 years old Bocelli was taking piano lessons before also learning the saxophone and the flute. His family would always ask him to sing, bocelli once said "I don't think a singer decides to sing, it is the others who choose that you sing by their reactions". Bocelli has also sung with other great singers such as Pavarotti. He’s one of the world’s most famous opera singers, and he’s totally blind. Andrea Bocelli is a man that overcame many odds to become a household name worldwide. Born in 1958 in Lajatico, Italy, Bocelli went blind at age 12, when a blow to his head during a soccer game further complicated his congenital glaucoma.Though he is known for his angelic and soaring opera tenor, Bocelli did not find a career in music until later in life. He worked for years as a lawyer and practiced his “hobby” of singing in piano bars and parties on weekends. A talent scout happened to hear him sing at a party he attended and signed him to a recording deal.Andrea has worked with the famous Luciano Pavarotti and Sarah Brightman, and has sung for the Pope. He is best known for his sweet songs, such as “Con Te Partirò”, a duet with Sarah Brightman and has released several multi-platinum albums throughout Europe and the United States.Bocelli’s velvety voice and inspiring personality have won him fans worldwide. “All that counts in life is intention,” he is quoted as saying. “You have to persevere, you have to insist.”
Friday, January 1, 2016
Tony Max - Canadian visual artist, 1957 - He was born legally blind, with ten percent vision, because of congenital cataracts. His vision was improved by cataract surgery as a teenager
Tony Max - Canadian visual artist, 1957 - He was born legally blind, with ten percent vision, because of congenital cataracts. His vision was improved by cataract surgery as a teenager, but the surgery eventually led to glaucoma and three retinal detachments. He went on to become one of Canada's most famous fine artists.