Signing Black in America

Signing Black in America

Fri, 02/04/2022 - 8:30pm - 9:00pm

ASL student

This is the first documentary about Black ASL: the unique dialect of American Sign Language (ASL) that developed within historically segregated African American Deaf communities. 

Black ASL today conveys an identity and sense of belonging that mirrors spoken language varieties of the African American hearing community.  Different uses of space, hand use, directional movement, and facial expression are ways that Black ASL distinguishes itself as a vibrant dialect of American Sign Language. The African American Deaf community is now embracing their unique variety as a symbol of solidarity and a vital part of their identity.

Dialogue on Disability, an initiative founded by WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies in 2003, celebrates people with differing abilities and promotes a more inclusive community. Presenting a week’s worth of TV and radio specials, news reports, and interviews on WXXI’s daily talk show, Connections with Evan Dawson, the initiative is designed to encourage community discussion about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities. 

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