Image of Joey, wearing his apparel, long sleeve shirt + beanie, awesome frames classes, dreads cascade over his shoulders and back, watches and chains on his left hand, he is sitting in his wheelchair and looking to the left of the screen]
me conducting a photo shoot for my apparel brand. It took me a lot of time and encouragement to think that I could be handsome, and inspirational in the situation. So I got some of my apparel, and a friend of mine took the pictures for me.
What is your favorite memory/ moment that brought you lots of joy? late-night chilling on the beach
What is something people generally don’t know about you? I can be patient when I want to
Who is Joey? My name is Joey Noble, I live in Miami Florida and in June of 2013 I was involved in a serious car accident, while leaving my friends baby shower which left me a C4 quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. I was suffering from depression and PTSD from 2013 – 2017, until someone in my support group at the hospital, gave me a wake-up call. He said, "if you are ready to die, and give up, there are both legal and illegal ways to get it done, but if you are not ready to quit yet, wake your A** up , and do something". This was the spark for me to stop crying over all the things I cannot do, and focus on what I could still do, and what I could learn to do, and – – thenoblemanbrand.com – – was born. My goal was simple, to embark on my own journey, creating something from nothing, creating a message from the mess.
What gets your fired up about the disability movement? It is obvious that being an African-American minority in America, I am already overlooked, and being in a wheelchair, I am completely nonexistent. This needs to change.
What is your advocacy platform? Disability recreation, art, music, beach accessibility, dedicated recreational facilities, entrepreneurship, workout facilities etc.
What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? For a very long time I have always had someone next to me. I was even in a relationship for the first three years after my accident. When my girlfriend left, I was 27 and that was the first time I was without a girlfriend since the 6th grade. I realize for the first time that the bold, confident and the funniest guy in school (class clown) was actually codependent, and needed someone in order for me to function. I know what I can do, even in the midst of my disability, but the reality of having to do it alone is almost worse than the disability itself. My biggest challenge, is having the courage to do this alone.
What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? That disability is not the same as inability.
What areas are you still growing/hope to grow? Personally? Professionally? Courage, independence and patience.
Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you? My grandmother. Because as long as there is a spec of life in any fiber of my being, I cannot quit. She inspired me by not giving me a talk, but by giving me the look.
When people look at you/up to you, what do you hope they see? I am somebody worth it.
What are your next steps? I started multiple businesses, the parent of which is: The Nobleman Brand
Foundation: The House of Wheels
Apparel Company: Ayasher
Music company: Modest Island Music
Construction management: Step Together Designs
the project I'm working on is to prove to myself and to others, that yes we as people with disabilities can work, we can have jobs, we can have careers, and we can have families, BUT WE CAN ALSO STILL HAVE FUN.
How do we follow you?! The Nobleman Brand
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