African American Sign Language

Modern vs Older words of Black American Sign Language (BASL)

Nakia Smith and her grandfather, Jake Smith Jr., demonstrating some "old fashioned" BASL signs. For the first part of his education, Jake Smith Jr. went to a segregated school for Black deaf children, and here he is demonstrating some of the signs he and his peers used, while Nakia demonstrates their modern equivalents. [Published on 10-10-2020]

Posted by August Bicket on April 22, 2021

African American Sign Language;

Black American Sign Language Gains New Interest Thanks to TikTok App

This article (and corresponding video) underscore the recent resurgence of Black American Sign Language. One part that stood out to me was Hill's note on code switching, and the historical context that contributed to some Black deaf people's preference of only using BASL in private settings. [Published on 02-25-2021]

A Few Things to Know About American Sign Language

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Similar to the different accents that exist in the English language, different styles of sign language express different cultural upbringings. This video is a short personal account into a few individual’s experiences with sign language and its perception from none deaf people. Explaining issues like the use of the term “hearing impaired”, is considered more offensive than being labeled deaf because it does not recognize deaf people as a “linguistic minority”. The point is that deaf people have a culture. One of the speakers talks about how slang has influenced ASL specifically in the African-American cultural community. Being deaf does not exclude people from existing in a living language that adapts and changes to fit the times. Rich with the impact of various cultures.

African American and white ASL varieties

An article examines Black American Sign Language and the ways it differs from a white ASL variety, revealing surprising cultural implications [Published on 09-07-2012]