Signing Black in America

Signing Black in America

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 10:30pm - 11:00pm

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. Signing Black in America airs Thursday, January 28 at 10:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV and on Friday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m. on WXXI-WORLD. 

This documentary is presented as part of Dialogue on Disability, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies that celebrates people with differing abilities.

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 and intellectual disabilities. Dialogue on Disability runs January 25-31.

For a complete list of programs and other offerings, visit WXXI.org/dod. Dialogue on Disability is a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies - in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. The initiative is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.

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