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Dec 9, 2022
Manuscripts – Collection of Segregation of Black Deaf Children in the United States, 1867-1987
King Jordan Student Academic Center 1255
Segregation of Black Deaf Children in the United States
Collection of Segregation of Black Deaf Children in the United States, 1867-1987
Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 118
Title: Collection of Segregation of Black Deaf Children in the United States, 1867-1987.
Quantity: 1.5 Linear Feet (3 document boxes)
Note: This document last updated 2006 January 9.
Acquisition Information: Sandy White donated the papers from her project on Segregation of Black Deaf Children to the Gallaudet University Archives.
Processed by: Thomas Strunk. 2001 April 20.
Processing Note: Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.
Related Material in the Archives:See ALADIN
Sandra White, a Gallaudet University employee at the TV/Film and Photography Department, undertook a project to gather as much information regarding the black deaf history as to produce a documentary film. She went through all the Gallaudet University Deaf Archives department sources to find any information that deals with black deaf history, especially those in deaf schools. She focuses on the history of segregation in the deaf schools between black and non-black deaf students up until the desegregation movement in America during the 1950s. In gathering those documents, she wanted to support her research into Kendall School’s desegregation for the Deaf during the 1951 year. There was a trial that the mother of Kenneth Alan Miller, a black deaf boy in Washington, D.C., fought for Kenneth’s right to attend Kendall School instead of sending him to the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, where Kenneth attended for two years. During that time, Kendall School’s policy was to send all colored deaf students of the District of Columbia area to Maryland School for the Colored Blind and Deaf-mutes in Overlea, Maryland. Kenneth’s mother brought the D.C. Board of Education to trial in the Supreme Court in 1952. The plaintiffs are the Millers and William (Billy) Matthews, a black deaf boy from D.C., and his mother, Miss. Grace Jones. The trial ended with the verdict that ordered the D.C. black deaf students to attend Kendall School instead of Overlea, Md.
Scope and Content
Papers related to the black deaf project by Sandy White fill this collection. Sandy White made photocopies of documents for her research and collected them into one collection. There are correspondences related to black deaf students’ enrollment into the Kendall School and Maryland School for Colored Blind and Deaf-Mutes. Some copies of little paper families from Alabama Banner, the Silent Worker, Just Once a Month, and Buff and Blue are present in the collection. Copies of school for the deaf reports from schools that contain a separate program for the colored or Negro deaf students are included. Transcribing of the videotaped interviews with Rubye Frye and Mary Phillips, former employees of the colored Maryland School, are in one of the folders. All this work goes into the production of the documentary film titled “Class of ’52.” Videotapes of interviews and final copy of the documentary film are in a separate file in the Gallaudet University Deaf Archives. They are available upon request.
Series Descriptions and Folder Lists
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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