Skip to content

Signing Black in America documentary to air; DVD available

June 26, 2020

Share:

Play Video

A 27-minute documentary film, Signing Black in America, will appear on some Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations on Saturday, June 27. (Check your local listings for dates and air times.) This film is described as “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 a  sense o f 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.”

Several members of the Gallaudet University community were involved in this video, including Dr. Carolyn D. McCaskill, ’77, G-’79 & PhD ’05, and Dr. Ceil Lucas, Professor Emerita. They, along with Dr. Joseph C. Hill, G-’04 & PhD ’11, of Rochester Institute of Technology and Robert Bayley of the University of California, Davis, authored the book The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL, which served as an impetus for the PBS documentary. Three other Gallaudet alumni contributed to the book.

This is the first episode of a four-part PBS miniseries following 2017’s Talking Back in America. More information is available at https://www.talkingblackinamerica.org/signing-black-in-america/. A DVD will be released in July; for ordering information, please visit https://www.talkingblackinamerica.org/dvd/.

26 June 2020

Share:

Recent Posts

Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...

Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...

James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...

About the Author

Gallaudet University

Published Articles: 849

Recent Posts
Deaf hotelier Roberto Wirth passes away
Alumnus Timel Benton to play professional football
Alumni, faculty featured in The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate