Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

The Black ASL Project works to describe the linguistic features of a variety of American Sign Language (ASL) used by African American signers, often referred to as Black ASL. Facilitators are especially interested in recollections of individual experiences in schools for Black Deaf children themselves, or the experience of their relatives. The project is sponsored by Gallaudet University’s Linguistics, and ASL, and Deaf Studies programs and is supported in part by the Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation Project # BCS-0813736.

To view the project’s description as it appears in the NSF proposal, click here.

The goals of the project include:

  • Creating a filmed corpus of conversational Black ASL as it is used in the South. The focus is on the structure and history of Southern Black ASL because that region is where the most radical segregation occurred in the education of Black and White deaf children, creating the conditions for the development of a separate language variety.
  • Providing a description of the linguistic features that make Black ASL recognizable as a distinct variety of ASL and of the history of the education of Black Deaf children.
  • Disseminating the project findings in the form of teaching materials and instructional resources.
  • Signing Black in America
    • This documentary was created in association with the Black ASL Project and was produced by the Language & Life Project at NC State University by Carolyn McCaskill, Ceil Lucas, Robert Bayley, and Joseph Hill.
    • A book, “The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure,” was also written by the creators of the film.
Follow us on Facebook

NOW AVAILABLE

The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure

Carolyn McCaskill, Ceil Lucas, Robert Bayley, and Joseph Hill

Click here to Order

Signing Black in America is a documentary related to the Black ASL Project. It was produced by the Language & Life Project at NC State University. For more information, to purchase a DVD, and to watch the film, visit talkingblackinamerica.org/signing-black-in-america.

  • Go to the “screenings” tab and there is a direct link to YouTube. The film is 27 minutes long and fully captioned and voiced over.

Support

Meet the Team

Director

Carolyn McCaskill

Professor/Founding Director

Staff

Dr. Ceil Lucas

Project Co-Director Gallaudet University, Department of Linguistics (Emerita)

Dr. Robert Bayley

Project Co-Director University of California -Davis, Department of Linguistics

Ms. Pamela Baldwin

Project Archivist and Community Representative

Ms. Roxanne Dummett

Research Assistant Gallaudet University, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies and George Mason University, ASL Instructor

Dr. Joseph Hill

Research Assistant Gallaudet University, Department of Linguistics and Associate Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf/RIT

Dr. Randall Hogue

Kent State University, Coordinator of the ASL Program

Ms. Stephanie Johnson

Research Assistant Gallaudet University, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies

Ms. TaWanda Barkley

Research Assistant Gallaudet University, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies

Ms. Anika Stephen

Research Assistant Web Administrator Gallaudet University, Department of Linguistics

Ms. Mercedes Hunter

Research Assistant Web Administrator Gallaudet University, Department of Interpreting

Contact Us

Black ASL Project

Carolyn McCaskill

College Hall 201

(202) 250-2071

(202) 651-5085

Monday
-
Tuesday
-
Wednesday
-
Thursday
-
Friday
-
Saturday
Closed
By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.