00:00:01 -- [Female Announcer:] The interpretation provided for this presentation is live and unrehearsed.
00:00:07 -- Interpreter/s assigned may or may not have had materials in advance for preparation.
00:00:12 -- Inaccuracies related to the content of the material may be due
00:00:17 -- to imperfections in the interpreting process.
00:00:20 -- This interpretation has not been reviewed by the presenter.
00:00:24 -- [ Pause ]
00:00:55 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Hello and welcome.
00:00:57 -- It is good to see each and every one of you.
00:00:59 -- Thank you Dr. Allen for the introduction and thank you VL2
00:01:05 -- for having our team present to you here.
00:01:12 -- We really appreciate you coming at 4 o'clock on a weekday afternoon.
00:01:18 -- I know some of you have worked all day and you are very tired,
00:01:24 -- but your presence here shows your interest, and we thank you very much for your support.
00:01:32 -- Before we begin, I would like to introduce our team.
00:01:36 -- Dr. Ceil Lucas, Professor in the Department of Linguistics.
00:01:42 -- [ Pause ]
00:01:48 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Joseph Hill, Doctoral student in the Department of Linguistics.
00:01:53 -- Next, we have Pam Baldwin.
00:02:03 -- She is alumni at Gallaudet University and works in the community.
00:02:09 -- And we also have Roxanne Dummett, graduated with her MA in ASL and Deaf Studies
00:02:16 -- and is also part of our research team.
00:02:19 -- [ Pause ]
00:02:29 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Let me give you a moment just to glance at the slide.
00:02:33 -- [ Pause ]
00:02:53 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] We are starting out with a basic question.
00:02:58 -- What are the features that we can recognize of the variety of ASL that we call "Black ASL?"
00:03:10 -- We've had anecdotal reports that "Yeah, you know, like I see something different."
00:03:15 -- But, what is that difference exactly.
00:03:19 -- When you ask White deaf people?
00:03:24 -- Is there a difference between Black and White deaf people?
00:03:28 -- They'll say, "Well, yeah.
00:03:29 -- They have their way of doing things."
00:03:34 -- So, that's our research interest, looking specifically
00:03:38 -- at the question, what is the difference?
00:03:42 -- We're going to share with you our research and our findings thus far.
00:03:49 -- [ Pause ]
00:03:57 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] From scholars Hairston and Smith, their published work does show
00:04:04 -- that there is a Black way of signing used by Black deaf people that when they are
00:04:17 -- with their own cultural milieu, how that is among family and friends,
00:04:22 -- how they are in social gatherings, and in deaf clubs is different than when they are
00:04:26 -- with people of different cultures.
00:04:31 -- On top of that, there also exist 50 years
00:04:36 -- of research regarding African American Vernacular English looking at the phonology,
00:04:43 -- morphology, the syntax that shows a very unique and distinct variety.
00:04:52 -- So, our question is, do we also find that when we look at ASL within the Black deaf community?
00:05:02 -- [ Pause ]
00:05:20 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] As I mentioned, AAVE has particular features
00:05:29 -- in the morphology, syntax, and such.
00:05:32 -- Can we find those similar features within Black ASL?
00:05:37 -- It's an important question that needs to be researched.
00:05:44 -- [ Pause ]
00:06:01 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] We do have several questions that helped guiding us
00:06:06 -- through our research, but at this point, I'll turn it over to Ceil.
00:06:09 -- [ Pause ]
00:06:28 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] Okay, so we can research specific features, but before we can do that,
00:06:32 -- we need to ask what the socio-historical reality is
00:06:35 -- that would make Black American Sign Language possible.
00:06:40 -- What took place in the foundations and in the backgrounds of the American history
00:06:46 -- of deaf communities to make this phenomenon take place?
00:06:50 -- [ Pause ]
00:06:55 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] If we look at language in general, we see that Rickford
00:07:00 -- in 1999 found there are variations -- regional and social variations that developed
00:07:06 -- when people are separated by geographic or social barriers.
00:07:10 -- [ Pause ]
00:07:18 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] It's important to realize that social
00:07:20 -- and geographic barriers create differences in language and in the way
00:07:24 -- that people communicate with one another.
00:07:26 -- This applies to spoken languages and sign languages.
00:07:32 -- [ Pause ]
00:07:42 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] So, we learned both geographic and social factors were involved,
00:07:44 -- but the different geographic factors might be in regards to the isolation of one community,
00:07:51 -- the political boundaries that align a society, and those political
00:07:57 -- and geographical boundaries could be rivers and mountains, swamps, borderlines.
00:08:04 -- The formation of country states will create geographic barriers between language --
00:08:12 -- [ Pause ]
00:08:24 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] And patterns of settlements, where people live or allowed to live.
00:08:29 -- [ Pause ]
00:08:34 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] Oftentimes, it is not the decision of certain people on to where
00:08:38 -- or where they may or may not live, but the experience of isolation creates diversity
00:08:50 -- in language acquisition and language use.
00:08:54 -- Cities of the geographic features, we are going to refer to for the rest of the presentation.
00:09:00 -- Let's take a look at some of the social factors: socioeconomic status,
00:09:11 -- disparities between the working classes.
00:09:14 -- Age differences contribute to social factors.
00:09:19 -- Certainly, senior citizens, people who are middle-aged have ways of speaking
00:09:26 -- that contrast to young people; ethnicity.
00:09:30 -- So, here we understand that the way that White people have spoken
00:09:36 -- and acquired language differs greatly from the way that African Americans have.
00:09:43 -- Identity formation also has a role to play in the formation of language,
00:09:50 -- and definitely how it has expressed their languages.
00:09:54 -- So, as a result, we see marked differences in working class and in middle class languages.
00:10:10 -- In this specific example of India, caste defined differences.
00:10:15 -- In language, age, gender, all create variety all over the world in the way
00:10:28 -- that humans communicate with one another.
00:10:31 -- [ Pause ]
00:10:48 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] I'll give you a moment to view the slide.
00:10:51 -- [ Pause ]
00:10:59 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] We're looking at the educational environment
00:11:04 -- that Black students were segregated.
00:11:09 -- This is a known fact in the history of United States.
00:11:14 -- Schools for the deaf were also segregated, sometimes on different campuses.
00:11:19 -- Black schools or departments also could have been established
00:11:26 -- on the same campus, but very separate and distinct.
00:11:32 -- They were commonly referred to as the "Colored Department."
00:11:36 -- In some cases, they were physically separated, such as in the case
00:11:44 -- of the Georgia and Mississippi State schools.
00:11:47 -- We will be showing you two graphs that show our research information
00:11:56 -- and I'll show these right now.
00:11:58 -- These are the schools for the deaf.
00:12:02 -- We've looked at 17 state schools for the deaf starting here at Kendall.
00:12:09 -- The first column refers to the year that the White schools were established.
00:12:18 -- White schools were established first in most cases.
00:12:22 -- The second column refers to when the Black schools or departments were established.
00:12:29 -- And then, we talk about desegregation and the year that desegregation was enacted
00:12:36 -- in each state, the years between the White school and the Black school departments,
00:12:42 -- when they were established, and then the last column refers to the years
00:12:46 -- between when the Black schools or departments were established and desegregation.
00:12:58 -- This also outlines the same information for different schools and here is a summary
00:13:07 -- of the results, and some of our findings in terms of the discrepancy and the period of time
00:13:19 -- with the establishment of the schools and desegregation.
00:13:23 -- [ Pause ]
00:13:27 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] So, you can see here the average number of years
00:13:30 -- between the establishment of a White school and Black schools
00:13:34 -- or departments were averaged 33 years, except -- the striking exceptions,
00:13:42 -- Kentucky took them 61 years to set up a school for Black deaf students.
00:13:47 -- Being Black deaf students in the State of Kentucky did not receive a public education
00:13:51 -- until 61 years after White deaf students -- West Virginia, 56 years.
00:13:57 -- It took the State of Virginia 70 years to set up a school for Black deaf students and then,
00:14:05 -- Louisiana holds the record with 86 years, but they didn't even establish a school
00:14:11 -- until much later and then, desegregation happened.
00:14:20 -- The average number of years between the establishment of a Black deaf school
00:14:24 -- and desegregation was an average of 72.8 years,
00:14:31 -- except for the striking exception of Washington DC.
00:14:35 -- It took them 101 years.
00:14:39 -- Kendall was established for White deaf students
00:14:43 -- and they did have a physical separate location for Black deaf students.
00:14:48 -- But, it still took them 100 years to desegregate even
00:14:52 -- after Brown v. Board of Education -- much later.
00:14:56 -- [ Pause ]
00:15:01 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] The interesting note about Louisiana is
00:15:06 -- that there was only 40 years difference because there was no school
00:15:12 -- for Black deaf children until 1938.
00:15:16 -- That's 24 years after Brown v. Board of Education that they finally desegregated,
00:15:25 -- then they set up a school for Black deaf children.
00:15:29 -- Go back to previous slide please.
00:15:37 -- So, we see that Kendall set up a school for White and Black deaf children in 1857.
00:15:46 -- They were separate, but they were on the same campus.
00:15:52 -- Desegregation happened in 1958.
00:15:55 -- Brown v. Board of Education passed in 1955.
00:16:04 -- They were finally desegregated 100 years later.
00:16:09 -- It took North Carolina 99 years to desegregate,
00:16:18 -- the difference between the time the Black deaf schools were established and desegregation.
00:16:23 -- [ Pause ]
00:16:34 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] The State of Louisiana is an exception.
00:16:38 -- White deaf schools were established in 1852.
00:16:41 -- There was no Black deaf school until 1938.
00:16:46 -- There was 86 years that education did not happen in the State of Louisiana
00:16:54 -- for Black deaf children and then, there was 40 years difference
00:17:00 -- between the time they established the school and then
00:17:03 -- for Black deaf children and the time of desegregation.
00:17:08 -- Any questions about that?
00:17:10 -- [ Pause ]
00:17:16 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] I'm going to pass it now over to Pamela.
00:17:22 -- [ Pause ]
00:17:31 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] Black deaf people were affected by the same racial discrimination
00:17:34 -- of the area that affected Black hearing people and they experienced the same social isolation
00:17:42 -- that contributed to the development of African American Vernacular English.
00:17:47 -- [ Pause ]
00:17:59 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] Black deaf children were also impacted in particular ways
00:18:04 -- that included state laws requiring Black students only to be taught by Black teachers.
00:18:14 -- Tennessee passed a very similar law in 1901.
00:18:19 -- [ Pause ]
00:18:25 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] There were also geographic and social factors that promoted the isolation
00:18:29 -- of the spoken language varieties which also surround the isolation
00:18:33 -- of Black Americans sign languages.
00:18:36 -- Carolyn will explain that a little more.
00:18:39 -- I'll turn the floor over to Carolyn.
00:18:42 -- [ Pause ]
00:19:06 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] So now, we need to post a very important question.
00:19:10 -- If Black deaf children were isolated in segregated schools or departments,
00:19:17 -- what kind of access to language, specifically sign language input were they receiving?
00:19:24 -- And, this question begs another question,
00:19:28 -- who were teaching the Black deaf students in the classrooms?
00:19:32 -- What was the general climate?
00:19:33 -- There was a general climate of oralism.
00:19:37 -- Some deaf schools more oral, some schools that taught Black deaf children used sign language
00:19:47 -- and if they did use sign language, what kind
00:19:50 -- of language were the children bringing to the schools from home?
00:19:56 -- [ Pause ]
00:20:01 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] We noticed there is a big gap from between
00:20:05 -- when White deaf schools were established and departments or schools
00:20:09 -- for deaf Black students were established.
00:20:12 -- In that gap, what was learned?
00:20:15 -- What did Black deaf children bring in to the schools in terms of language?
00:20:21 -- The research that we have come across has found there is variety in the data and there is a lot
00:20:30 -- of data that needs to be analyzed and interpreted.
00:20:33 -- [ Pause ]
00:20:58 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Our studies have found that certain states forbade White teachers
00:21:03 -- from teaching Black deaf children.
00:21:05 -- That would mean that it would be Black hearing or deaf teachers and interactions
00:21:12 -- in the classroom with Black students.
00:21:16 -- North Carolina State School for the colored deaf and blind stands out as an example.
00:21:20 -- They had hearing teachers that were Black and there happened
00:21:23 -- to be three Black deaf teachers in that school.
00:21:28 -- Certain instances have been noted where Black deaf teachers taught in other schools as well,
00:21:32 -- but in North Carolina, established in 1887 by a former slave whose name was William Holland.
00:21:43 -- He had a history of working at the Texas School for the Deaf, but in the study,
00:21:51 -- I found that the Texas School for the Deaf has sort of a strange name.
00:21:57 -- It was called the BDO, the BDO Blind School.
00:22:06 -- B stood for Black, D stood for deaf, O stand for orphanage.
00:22:12 -- So, they didn't call it a residential school.
00:22:15 -- They called it a Black deaf orphanage.
00:22:18 -- This is sort of bizarre.
00:22:20 -- This implied that the children have no parents.
00:22:23 -- That was actually the name of the residential state school which was later changed to the Deaf
00:22:28 -- and Blind School, that changed as well to The Texas School for the Black Deaf Students.
00:22:34 -- [ Pause ]
00:22:56 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] You recall I mentioned that the North Carolina School
00:22:57 -- for the Deaf had three Black deaf graduates from North Carolina in Raleigh who were now in search
00:23:04 -- for jobs and ended up teaching at the Texas School for the Deaf.
00:23:09 -- [ Pause ]
00:23:16 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Regardless of whether or not the Black deaf teacher was deaf
00:23:19 -- or hearing, role modeling of the language became important.
00:23:28 -- Their identity as a Black person was shared; however,
00:23:33 -- Black teachers that were deaf presumably sign better and thus, provide signing models.
00:23:40 -- So, the hearing Black teachers could sign and some could not.
00:23:45 -- Those who couldn't sign were presumably speaking to the deaf.
00:23:52 -- The shared frustration of deaf students who couldn't be understand
00:23:59 -- by their teachers is something that we've noted throughout the history of deaf education.
00:24:06 -- The idea of some hearing Black teachers being able to sign and the idea
00:24:13 -- of some Black deaf teachers not being able
00:24:15 -- to sign made a difference in the research that we found.
00:24:18 -- [ Pause ]
00:24:39 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] It's interesting to note that I think it was eight --
00:24:43 -- either seven or eight Black deaf schools have close associations
00:24:50 -- to historically Black universities.
00:24:53 -- They were within close physical proximity and I think that this is interesting.
00:24:59 -- I am from Alabama myself and I went to the Alabama School for the Negro Deaf
00:25:07 -- and I would go shopping downtown and every day I would pass an old college called Talladega
00:25:14 -- University, historically well-known.
00:25:19 -- And I would pass it every day going to my school and in my research in the years
00:25:28 -- to come during my dissertation, I looked back and think absolutely there is a connection.
00:25:35 -- They were across the street from one another.
00:25:37 -- Here in Washington DC, Kendall is a hop, skip and a jump from Howard University, 10,
00:25:44 -- 15 minutes from here within close proximity to historically Black college or university.
00:25:51 -- What about Hamilton University?
00:25:54 -- Right across the street from the Hamilton School for the Deaf and Blind?
00:26:02 -- We have these examples.
00:26:03 -- We see these examples time after time.
00:26:06 -- What does this mean to us?
00:26:07 -- It means that the recruitment of teachers took place.
00:26:10 -- That's where people are more able to find teachers to take place in the deaf education
00:26:15 -- of Black children since these deaf schools that had programs for the Black more nearby,
00:26:24 -- within close physical approximation of historically Black colleges and universities.
00:26:29 -- There is an association with sign language in the Black culture and community
00:26:34 -- so that those individuals would be trained to work with deaf children.
00:26:39 -- That link is very important because when we begin to ask the question
00:26:43 -- of where were these teachers, where did they come from, how did they learn how to sign,
00:26:49 -- this phenomenon provides an answer.
00:26:51 -- It provides some information about where these teachers came from
00:26:54 -- and where their signing ability developed.
00:26:56 -- [ Pause ]
00:27:08 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] The Hamilton Institute summer program included a 9-week course
00:27:13 -- on this language of signs in the manual alphabet.
00:27:18 -- So, we see that this is a university that provided training, had career opportunities,
00:27:25 -- and working in the field of deafness.
00:27:28 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] It's 1951 which means 9 years before Stokey [assumed spelling] came
00:27:36 -- out with his, you know, research, but here, they called it specifically language of signs
00:27:41 -- and explicitly taught that in the university.
00:27:44 -- [ Pause ]
00:27:51 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Like I said, I'm from Alabama and I went to the Alabama School
00:27:55 -- for Negroes and the Deaf and Blind.
00:27:59 -- I remember my experience as a student in 1964, I had just transferred from a hearing school
00:28:07 -- and I had transferred from a hearing school that was
00:28:13 -- for Black students and they were all hearing.
00:28:16 -- And when I went to the school, I went from an all-Black school and transferred
00:28:24 -- in to an all-White school where they were hearing people and deaf people,
00:28:29 -- and I think I remember seeing one or two Black teachers, but predominantly White
00:28:36 -- and people who were staff, maids, chef.
00:28:44 -- I remember one Black person, a Black man we would call Blue Eyes because he was deaf
00:28:50 -- and I remember him telling us about things and I remember he tells stories and he was a janitor.
00:28:59 -- But, for all of the people who worked as professionals, they were all White people.
00:29:08 -- I'm going to turn the floor over to Joseph.
00:29:13 -- [ Pause ]
00:29:22 -- [Joseph Hill:] In 1817, the communication methods in the schools
00:29:25 -- for the deaf were mostly manual or sign language.
00:29:29 -- And we all know in the 1880s, the education for deaf children switched to oralism
00:29:38 -- because they wanted the deaf children to be more like hearing children.
00:29:43 -- But, that didn't happen for schools that educated Black deaf children.
00:29:48 -- For example, in the American Annals of the Deaf, we found in one survey
00:30:00 -- that approximately 16 schools or departments for Black deaf children still were entirely manual
00:30:08 -- or signing and was not affected by the oralism movement
00:30:14 -- that White deaf children were exposed to.
00:30:17 -- [ Pause ]
00:30:27 -- [Joseph:] In the year of 1920 in Texas, in terms of deaf students, approximately three fourths
00:30:37 -- of those students were being taught orally, fewer than one third of the children
00:30:44 -- at the Black deaf school were being taught orally.
00:30:47 -- So, the Black deaf students had clear communication, open access.
00:30:53 -- It was readily understandable where everyone could understand everyone in the classroom
00:30:59 -- as opposed to the White deaf students who struggled.
00:31:07 -- There was focus academically; however, they still channeled Black deaf children
00:31:16 -- into vocations instead of training them academically.
00:31:22 -- When we look at communication with Black deaf students and how they learned the language,
00:31:34 -- in our research we found information
00:31:39 -- in which Black deaf families brought native fluency to the schools.
00:31:50 -- Other students from hearing families learned from the students from deaf families.
00:31:56 -- We recently went to do some elicitation and research at Virginia school.
00:32:02 -- There was a person who was 89, and his grandfather was deaf, taught him sign language
00:32:12 -- and then, you know, he tells us story about his experience in the schools
00:32:17 -- and other deaf kids learning from him.
00:32:20 -- They were others that probably had home signs that brought that language experience
00:32:28 -- to the school situation and so there was a combination of all of this.
00:32:35 -- [ Pause ]
00:32:43 -- [Joseph Hill:] As Ceil has mentioned, there was language variety in dialects.
00:32:50 -- This happens through geographic and social isolation.
00:33:01 -- This also, we look at this with deaf, hearing or Black, White students,
00:33:08 -- that people in different cultures
00:33:11 -- or in different geographic locations develop language differently
00:33:15 -- and we focus on Black deaf students.
00:33:19 -- We're looking at schools that educated Black deaf students as opposed to White deaf students
00:33:25 -- and what the differences were and we're looking at three questions when we approached this.
00:33:30 -- First of all, who were the teachers?
00:33:33 -- Were they deaf, were they hearing, were they Black, were they White.
00:33:37 -- As Carolyn had mentioned her experience going to a Black deaf school with White deaf teachers,
00:33:45 -- if the teacher was Black, we want to know who that person was and what their role was.
00:33:53 -- There's also, she mentioned the general pressure to switch to oralism and to suppress signing
00:34:00 -- in the classroom, but that didn't happen until much later for Black deaf students.
00:34:05 -- So, when did that happened and how many students were affected by that change.
00:34:10 -- And then finally, looking at the nature of languages that children brought into the school,
00:34:19 -- was this ASL from their families or was it a home sign systems or a different variety of ASL.
00:34:28 -- In terms of our preliminary findings, we took on this four-year project
00:34:36 -- to look and examine these questions.
00:34:40 -- We have filmed individuals.
00:34:41 -- We will be filming and have filmed individuals who are Black and use ASL in Southern states.
00:34:51 -- We looked at the South because it was that the most radical segregation and looking
00:35:06 -- at the conditions that sort of fall in to the development
00:35:14 -- of the separate and language variety.
00:35:17 -- There were some signs that are same, but there's other examples
00:35:22 -- where the signing is much different.
00:35:24 -- The space that is used and some other findings, but again we're in the preliminary stages.
00:35:33 -- We also want to publish some of our findings as well
00:35:41 -- to disseminate this information that we have found.
00:35:44 -- I'm going to turn the floor over.
00:35:46 -- [ Pause ]
00:35:49 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] So, in terms of how we collect data, we've gone to 6 state,
00:35:54 -- we've gone to 6 different states.
00:35:56 -- We've done filming in North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama,
00:35:59 -- and Virginia, as well as Louisiana.
00:36:05 -- We have interviewed and filmed groups that are over the age of 55,
00:36:14 -- so they have had a similar shared experience and those who were under the age of 35,
00:36:19 -- those who have not attended an Integrated School and those who have, so two different groups.
00:36:26 -- [ Pause ]
00:36:29 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] As of now we are at 90 participants.
00:36:33 -- We have three different forms of conversations.
00:36:37 -- We have interviewed them and filmed them in free conversation,
00:36:41 -- and we have about half hour of that data.
00:36:46 -- Then we come back, we interviewed them, asked them pointed questions, filmed that.
00:36:50 -- And the third form of conversation that we have looked for is we showed them pictures
00:36:55 -- and asked them for their individual signs for the specific picture that they have been showed.
00:37:02 -- This is how we have structured our database.
00:37:04 -- I want to show you some examples of that in just a moment.
00:37:10 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] Before I'm going to show you clips, after we just go through two more slides.
00:37:16 -- We would like to talk about the team that we've introduced.
00:37:21 -- Here they are here.
00:37:25 -- Our technical handyman or technical consultant,
00:37:29 -- Randall [assumed spelling], he is not here today.
00:37:31 -- I just want to recognize him for his work.
00:37:34 -- And we also want to acknowledge the Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation,
00:37:40 -- who we gratefully acknowledge in their support of our research.
00:37:46 -- And now, let's go to the clips.
00:37:50 -- [ Pause ]
00:37:59 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] The first clips are the interview portion.
00:38:01 -- We'll give you a sense of that, then we'll show you the free flow conversations.
00:38:06 -- And then, we'll show you a little bit of the vocabulary,
00:38:10 -- identification which we used by way of photographs.
00:38:15 -- [ Film showing ]
00:41:16 -- [Roxanne Dummett:] This is the group for the participants who are over 55.
00:41:20 -- They used the sign for science.
00:41:22 -- They talked about the sign for color.
00:41:26 -- These are all people from North Carolina.
00:41:29 -- We saw the sign for movies.
00:41:31 -- And these are new signs for me.
00:41:33 -- I thought it was really interesting to document these different signs
00:41:38 -- that we have seen emerged and evolved.
00:41:41 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] And so, this is for assessment purposes.
00:41:47 -- Don't be concerned about the images if you can't see.
00:41:49 -- We do have a visual that we use for the assessment.
00:41:55 -- Okay any questions?
00:41:58 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] We are going to go ahead and open the floor to any questions.
00:42:06 -- If you have any questions, please come to the front.
00:42:08 -- [ Pause ]
00:42:16 -- [Male audience 1:] Fascinating, fascinating work.
00:42:18 -- I'm wondering if there's any studies about White sign language in North Carolina around that time
00:42:25 -- to do a comparison, perhaps like a movie.
00:42:29 -- It was also done by White deaf people of that time too.
00:42:33 -- So, was there any documentation around making this, you know,
00:42:36 -- these claims that specifically belongs to the Black deaf community?
00:42:40 -- [ Pause ]
00:42:45 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] For the specific sign for movie, I believe it was in 1976
00:42:51 -- that a study was done and it was an early study that found that Black people
00:43:01 -- and White people differed in signs done on the hands and on the face.
00:43:06 -- Movie is just one specific example of a sign, but we can say the sign for peanut,
00:43:12 -- the sign for rabbits, the sign for color.
00:43:14 -- I think it was six or seven different signs were there had been variation
00:43:20 -- in the past in the forms of signing.
00:43:23 -- As of 2008, the question remains as to whether or not those signs are so prevalent in society.
00:43:32 -- We don't see the sign for movie as it was depicted here
00:43:35 -- or as our subjects demonstrated any longer.
00:43:39 -- But, as I said this is from -- the evidence that we have is from an earlier study.
00:43:46 -- For vernacular, our goal is to find not necessarily 30 pieces or our goal is
00:43:55 -- to find 30 different pieces of vernacular that is distinctly African American.
00:44:00 -- [ Pause ]
00:44:05 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] Another thing I wanted to mention was the research that was done
00:44:09 -- into the differences in two-handed signs as opposed to one-handed sign.
00:44:14 -- Another sign for waiting, the signs for cow, want are different examples of two-handed
00:44:28 -- as opposed to one-handed signs where we see a clear difference in the way
00:44:32 -- that Black and White people sign things.
00:44:34 -- The signs that take place on the head, why, where, for, these specific signs
00:44:43 -- where we see a difference in the way
00:44:46 -- that African American sign and differentiate location.
00:44:50 -- And some of these might be largely attributed to age differences and gender,
00:44:59 -- but for the most part, what we are saying is I have no idea.
00:45:05 -- African America sign or the elderly sign it with two hands where you got to keep necessarily,
00:45:11 -- but don't necessarily do the same thing.
00:45:13 -- We do see a preference of African American towards using a specific location on the head.
00:45:21 -- We had one example of a guy who would sign like this, seated and sign them
00:45:26 -- and then the sign for wine became one-handed.
00:45:29 -- And you know, this is evidence we found in some of our research.
00:45:35 -- If the study that we have can get to the point where we can look
00:45:39 -- at this something this closely, we all know we can see something in the difference in the way
00:45:45 -- that Black people communicate, what is that?
00:45:50 -- We are trying to get closer to the answer.
00:45:53 -- Is it about space, is it about the use of one-hand as opposed to two-hands.
00:45:58 -- Is it about negotiating?
00:46:00 -- Is it about non-verbal, manual, mouthing or mouth movements?
00:46:12 -- Alabama and Arkansas Black deaf communities do not move their lips.
00:46:18 -- And so, what is this a result of, I mean, I guess it's a kind of the long way
00:46:23 -- to answer your question, but I hope that that gets to the root of your question.
00:46:28 -- [ Pause ]
00:46:45 -- [Male audience 2:] I'm in the play called "Fences."
00:46:49 -- And a group of us were talking sign language and I was very interested in old signs,
00:46:56 -- signs that we are using in our play.
00:46:59 -- My question for you is how long has it taken you do this research from the beginning,
00:47:07 -- from doing the filming, to doing the data collection,
00:47:09 -- to making this PowerPoint, how long has it been?
00:47:14 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] Thus far, it's been one year to gather the data that we have thus far.
00:47:23 -- Last year we went to the NBDA, the National Black Deaf Advocates convention
00:47:30 -- where we did a lot of filming --
00:47:31 -- not interviewing, but just filming free flowing conversations of groups of Black deaf people.
00:47:39 -- So we began with that last year in August, then we went to North Carolina, New Orleans, Alabama,
00:47:46 -- Texas, Arkansas and just most recently, Virginia.
00:47:49 -- And we do about filming of two days, we do two different groups, older individuals,
00:47:59 -- and then middle-aged, and we asked them questions and maybe half an hour for each group.
00:48:10 -- And also last fall we began the analysis where we actually sat and watched the video tapes
00:48:16 -- and started the notation process and looking at -- try to look at some of the patterns.
00:48:21 -- So, the analysis work is in process and we look to publish, start writing next year, October '09
00:48:31 -- and publish in 2010 and we also will be travelling doing lectures and such as well.
00:48:35 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] The book will be published in 2010 and it includes a DVD.
00:48:40 -- The DVD will show clips of our work, so you can see what we are talking
00:48:46 -- about when we do the analysis in the text and as well as some of our interviews as well.
00:48:53 -- [Male audience 2:] It was interesting to learn about, you know the Black community
00:48:57 -- and the heritage that they have, the singing, the story-telling, the sling that has resulted
00:49:05 -- as an experience of the collective Black experience and to see it a sign on that
00:49:11 -- to include Black deaf experiences has been something
00:49:13 -- that I think is very interesting and fantastic.
00:49:15 -- Thank you for that.
00:49:17 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] We have been very, very fortunate to be able to visit six states
00:49:22 -- because Black ASL is dying with the older generation.
00:49:28 -- The older -- as older Black people die, you know, see the passing of the language
00:49:39 -- within the Black deaf community within the next generation as much.
00:49:44 -- You do see some, but it's not the old signs.
00:49:48 -- If you go to schools for the deaf, you know you see a mixture of --
00:49:54 -- you see, you know, deaf and deaf families,
00:49:56 -- you see something a little bit different, you see the older signs.
00:50:00 -- So, this is very, very important research and I am thrilled, very thrilled to be a part of this.
00:50:06 -- This historically is something that is very important that needs to be documented
00:50:10 -- when we look at Black vernacular and this is just American deaf history
00:50:19 -- that thus far has excluded or not really looked at Black deaf people the same way,
00:50:25 -- so I am thrilled that we are able to document this.
00:50:29 -- I could tell you stories about North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama,
00:50:34 -- Virginia, Louisiana, each is very unique.
00:50:36 -- If I were to pick one that was the most unique, I don't know.
00:50:40 -- The Black deaf people were thrilled to be able
00:50:44 -- to share their experience in a very documented way.
00:50:48 -- And it's not just asking, you know, what signs they use, but it's their experience
00:50:53 -- about growing up at a school, a Black deaf school and asking them about that experience,
00:51:00 -- such as asking them how they sign something.
00:51:04 -- It's more getting it to the heart of the matter.
00:51:07 -- The oral literature that we just got was so rich, so dense.
00:51:15 -- We were able to show you just a small clip, but a lot of it, just very fascinating
00:51:20 -- and interesting work in Louisiana.
00:51:24 -- This is very special because this was at a time when many were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
00:51:31 -- So, it was an emotional time for the community there, but they are again thrilled
00:51:35 -- to come and share their experiences.
00:51:37 -- In one sign, you know, I asked them what was their sign was for birthday.
00:51:43 -- People do this, right, birthday, birthday.
00:51:46 -- Their sign in Louisiana?
00:51:48 -- And it's interesting when they come together they say, you know they think of --
00:51:56 -- together they help each other remember.
00:52:00 -- They do this.
00:52:03 -- I thought that was pretty funny, you make a spanking, right.
00:52:09 -- So, it brings back old memories that they had and, you know,
00:52:14 -- then we get into who taught them sign and they would look
00:52:18 -- at each other, trying to recall, you know.
00:52:22 -- In terms of 1929, it was the first school for the deaf.
00:52:25 -- I said, before that, what did you do for education?
00:52:29 -- They went to the State of Mississippi.
00:52:31 -- They went to the school for the deaf in Mississippi.
00:52:33 -- Some went to public schools; some were not educated at all.
00:52:38 -- So, we are able to delve into this rich oral history.
00:52:42 -- In the State of North Carolina and asking that research group, you know,
00:52:47 -- about movie, they would do movie like this.
00:52:50 -- It was very different from other states.
00:52:56 -- In Virginia, we asked them what their sign was for bathroom.
00:53:00 -- Most people sign it like this, they would do this.
00:53:05 -- [ Pause ]
00:53:11 -- [Roxanne Dummett:]The sign in New Orleans,
00:53:15 -- the sign for bathroom was a little more graphic than I would have been used to.
00:53:18 -- So, I thought this kind of interesting.
00:53:20 -- I mean, like I said it was an emotional time and every time that we filmed,
00:53:25 -- especially in the group set where people who are older than 55, they just had an opportunity
00:53:30 -- to express their experiences and we were able to have a good time together.
00:53:37 -- And that process of emoting, that process of sharing experience turned
00:53:43 -- into something emotional and something that was also joyful.
00:53:47 -- Their education had a tremendous influence on their language ability,
00:53:52 -- so like books that were read, all the books were old.
00:53:57 -- The clothes that they used for their sports programs were hand-me-down,
00:54:03 -- so the signs that they had to describe these things were different.
00:54:08 -- So, their experiences in their education had a tremendous impact on their way
00:54:13 -- of communicating and their language formation.
00:54:16 -- [ Pause ]
00:54:20 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] I'm from the State of Arkansas.
00:54:23 -- I was in segregated school, in school for Black deaf children.
00:54:27 -- At the age of 8, I remember learning the sign language from hearing teachers.
00:54:31 -- They were all Black and then, when I went to a White deaf school, AST, there were some Black
00:54:37 -- and White teachers, but I remember signing things like early, like this,
00:54:42 -- early and just very soon I've forgotten some of them now.
00:54:46 -- But, many of the Black deaf schools were not really seriously taught
00:54:59 -- in a kind of systematic way.
00:55:01 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] You have another question?
00:55:06 -- [ Pause ]
00:55:14 -- [Female audience 1:] We have segregated schools for Black deaf people and White deaf people.
00:55:18 -- Again, the way you have described it, the education,
00:55:22 -- the quality of education was not the same.
00:55:25 -- But, you also have oralism that were happening in the classrooms of White deaf students,
00:55:29 -- but then they still sign in the dorms.
00:55:32 -- But, how is it that the ASL was more like purified, you know, and Black --
00:55:40 -- shouldn't Black deaf ASL be more pure than White ASL because of the oralism.
00:55:46 -- And so, I'm wondering, do you see some differences in terms of less English influence
00:55:53 -- in Black deaf ASL as opposed to White?
00:55:57 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] If by pure you mean by an older mode of sign, the answer is yes.
00:56:02 -- Well, the oralism didn't have a negative effect.
00:56:08 -- I think that it is a matter of Black deafness remaining intact for longer,
00:56:15 -- which is why we don't see -- why we are seeing more presence of two-handed signs in language.
00:56:23 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] I had White deaf teachers at my school,
00:56:26 -- so their signs also influenced me.
00:56:28 -- I went to a Black deaf school, but the teachers were White deaf teachers that taught us.
00:56:35 -- So, our language you know, the language that we have was a different variety because of that.
00:56:40 -- I couldn't understand them at first and they couldn't understand me even though we were
00:56:47 -- on the same town, 15 minutes away.
00:56:50 -- We never socially interacted.
00:56:54 -- So, that's very curious to me in terms of the language could be that varied
00:56:58 -- that we didn't even understand each other.
00:57:00 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] If I could just make a comment on the irony of the situation,
00:57:03 -- Alabama like we said, our picture -- the picture we're looking at is very complicated picture.
00:57:08 -- You know, it's not something that we can say in a throwaway line.
00:57:12 -- Language is complex and diverse.
00:57:15 -- Well yeah, but we have to look at teachers of the Black deaf, modes of communication
00:57:22 -- that varied from state to state even across North Carolina, Texas,
00:57:25 -- Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana.
00:57:27 -- We have to look at these different factors.
00:57:31 -- My understanding was that if you were deaf and you would teach,
00:57:34 -- you would teach in a Black deaf school
00:57:36 -- because you weren't good enough to teach in the White schools.
00:57:39 -- [ Pause ]
00:57:42 -- [Female audience 1:] In terms of variety, you talked about there are schools for the deaf
00:57:47 -- and then there are Black departments.
00:57:50 -- My father grew up at the South Carolina School for the Deaf which was segregated at the time.
00:57:57 -- He's White.
00:57:59 -- He said White students were able to go watch Black deaf basketball games
00:58:02 -- and that they were also basketball players and he enjoyed watching that game.
00:58:07 -- So, there was some contact between White deaf and Black deaf people
00:58:12 -- or students at the time through sports.
00:58:15 -- So, my question is there's a sort of variety, obviously, there is a variety,
00:58:22 -- you know, that you have mentioned.
00:58:25 -- But, with even within the same departments or departments on same campus,
00:58:30 -- did they ride the same bus together?
00:58:33 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] They rode completely different buses.
00:58:34 -- They had completely different schools.
00:58:36 -- They were completely segregated at that time.
00:58:38 -- [Female audience 1:] And, I'm wondering about some contact, maybe outside of school.
00:58:42 -- Did they interact socially?
00:58:44 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Not really.
00:58:45 -- I think they were two different worlds.
00:58:47 -- [Female audience 1:] When they went home on the weekends were they together?
00:58:49 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Completely separate, absolutely separate.
00:58:54 -- Thank you.
00:58:58 -- [Female audience 2:] Very, very nice research.
00:59:01 -- Okay, here we go.
00:59:04 -- It's a better spot.
00:59:07 -- Shall we waltz?
00:59:09 -- I don't dance.
00:59:10 -- It's a very rich data, looking at older senior citizen, Black deaf people.
00:59:18 -- Based on your studies, do you have any new research questions, or has this lead you
00:59:22 -- to any new research based on this?
00:59:24 -- I know there's so much rich information and these individuals will not live forever,
00:59:29 -- but is there a way to preserve or to continue this data collection to get as much as we can.
00:59:36 -- Like Columbus Colony now in Ohio, their senior citizen deaf people, mostly White, but how,
00:59:41 -- you know, the same thing we look at these rich communities as, you know,
00:59:45 -- not being, you know, living forever.
00:59:47 -- So, how do we get information?
00:59:49 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] I do want to look at Black deaf families.
00:59:52 -- From the study, I have been inspired to want to look at Black deaf families.
00:59:57 -- I met several of them and the elderly man I spoke about who had a grandfather
01:00:02 -- who was deaf and had a father that was deaf.
01:00:04 -- We found people in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi where they were strong generations
01:00:10 -- and generations of Black families that have continued throughout the decades and I said,
01:00:15 -- I have to do one more study and I'm so sorry that I didn't have enough time
01:00:19 -- to because in 11 years of doing research.
01:00:24 -- Ceil has said, you know, "Some more research?"
01:00:27 -- I know, I know it's a lot to ask, but there's got to be more work done with deaf families
01:00:32 -- who were Black and what they have experienced in terms of culture
01:00:38 -- and heritage, there's so much more to do.
01:00:40 -- This is definitely not the end of the road for us.
01:00:42 -- We only had an opportunity to look at six states.
01:00:45 -- There are more states that we need to go into and look at and so, would love to do that.
01:00:54 -- [ Pause ]
01:00:55 -- [Dr. Ceil Lucas:] We will have a website and hopefully, one thing that will come
01:01:01 -- about this is people will be able to send --
01:01:04 -- videotape themselves either telling anecdotal stories or family history
01:01:10 -- and where we can get more specific background information on these individuals as well.
01:01:18 -- One project that we're looking at is, you know, it's a lot of work, but from this we see a lot
01:01:22 -- of extensions and we do see the need for looking at Black deaf families.
01:01:28 -- We really do need that research information.
01:01:30 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] I have a question of, were there any Black deaf schools
01:01:34 -- that are closing and the answer is yes.
01:01:41 -- The Hamilton School for the Black deaf are closing --
01:01:46 -- just recently closed actually and there is a museum that has kept some of the artifacts
01:01:51 -- of the school, but it has also closed.
01:01:53 -- In addition to that, the Georgia School for the Deaf which has been the only school for the deaf
01:02:06 -- that has encapsulated the movement of White deaf students to their campus
01:02:14 -- because of the better facilities.
01:02:17 -- The Georgia School for the Deaf and Black they moved the White deaf students
01:02:22 -- to the Black deaf school due to the fact
01:02:26 -- that it was just more modern and structurally sound building.
01:02:30 -- The Virginia School for the Deaf which was established by White deaf man by the name
01:02:36 -- of William Ritter and actually in our interview, the older participants,
01:02:46 -- in the group of over 55 talked again and again about Ritter.
01:02:51 -- I think his name -- Ritter, excuse me.
01:02:52 -- I think his sign name was an "R" to the neck and it was because he was a deaf man
01:02:58 -- and we can get a little bit more about Ritter.
01:03:02 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] Yes.
01:03:05 -- In the State of Virginia, Ritter worked for the newspaper.
01:03:12 -- He was a printer and he had a housekeeper that had a son.
01:03:22 -- His housekeeper was Black and her son was deaf and he didn't have an educational opportunity.
01:03:28 -- So, from that experience lead Ritter to establish the school
01:03:34 -- for Black deaf children in Virginia.
01:03:37 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Any more questions?
01:03:39 -- One more question?
01:03:41 -- [ Pause ]
01:03:46 -- [Male audience 3:] Fascinating presentation, truly fascinating.
01:03:49 -- I'm wondering if you have found any evidence
01:03:52 -- because community organizations before World War II --
01:03:57 -- what happened socially before World War II?
01:04:00 -- Do you have any evidence or information about that period of time?
01:04:07 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Organizations that were formed --
01:04:10 -- do we have any organizations of Black deaf community prior to the outbreak of World War II?
01:04:19 -- That's the question.
01:04:21 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] What time frame were you looking at?
01:04:25 -- What year?
01:04:26 -- 19 --
01:04:28 -- [Male audience 3:] Well, the reason I asked is -- because of the camera, sorry.
01:04:33 -- The reason I asked this question is there were some states that were very rural,
01:04:45 -- they are agricultural areas and I'm wondering about the opportunity
01:04:51 -- for socialization amongst Black deaf community members.
01:04:57 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] Socialization formed predominantly around the church
01:05:00 -- and the Black deaf clubs which provided opportunities to get together to play cards,
01:05:05 -- to hold dances, to go to family functions and that's the primary social network
01:05:12 -- of Black deaf people prior to the outbreak of World War II.
01:05:19 -- [Male audience 3:] So, they would take turns going to individual homes and church as well?
01:05:23 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] And the churches as well.
01:05:27 -- [Male audience 3:] How did they communicate with each other?
01:05:28 -- Was there a sort of -- was there a network?
01:05:33 -- [Pamela Baldwin:] I think in Baltimore they actually had a different school, separate school
01:05:36 -- and from that school, there was a Pastor whose name I'm forgetting right now,
01:05:42 -- but recommended getting together of churches which were still segregated at that time.
01:05:54 -- I hope that answers your question.
01:05:57 -- [Male audience 3:] Yes, thank you.
01:05:58 -- [ Pause ]
01:06:04 -- [Dr. Carolyn McCaskill:] Any more questions?
01:06:06 -- [Dr. Thomas Allen:] What a fascinating body of work.
01:06:11 -- I cannot stress how important that work is that you're doing.
01:06:14 -- Thank you very much for your time.
01:06:16 -- I am looking forward to seeing the next segment of your research.
01:06:20 -- I'm looking forward to seeing your next lecture and having an opportunity
01:06:27 -- to buy your book, watch your DVDs.
01:06:29 -- It's going to be very interesting.
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