Today (May 24) in 1951, racial segregation in Washington, D.C. restaurants ruled illegal. It became a big deal. The history in Deaf community, I am sure that there are stories by Deaf Black people who experienced racial segregation in D.C., even as Gallaudet students. The stories of Deaf Black Gallaudet students would deliver to the Deaf community, as to the rest of the world. It was the wave of racism made the weak weaker, and most of the strong weaker.
The reason I write this blog post is because I am an ally. I oppose the structure of racism, and that is where I follow W.E.B. DuBois philosophy, “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”
I cannot fathom the idea of racial segregating Deaf Black people in DC, the home of Deaf Utopia, hence Gallaudet University. The term of “Utopia” is noun. I looked up the definition, “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.”
Is Deaf community perfect? Is Gallaudet community perfect?
A while ago, in one of my previous posts, I explained the history of “ugly laws” that would target Deaf people. It actually existed. The last city to repeal ugly laws was in Chicago, 1974. When I took course called “Images of Disability People in Film and Literature” in 2010, my professor had instructed me to read a book called The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public, Susan M. Schweik.
I am sure that there were stories in nation’s capital where Deaf Black people would walk into restaurants and would get targeted, attacked, ridiculed, and ostracized between racial segregation and ugly laws makes it triple alienation and oppression against Deaf Black people. The meaning of alienation: “the state of experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved.”
At the height of the culture wars in Deaf community, it is time to learn and respect Black Deaf community stories that would make things the consistent responsibility of life. Deaf Black people continue to be in the circle of language minority just like Deaf community goes through the phrase.
It would be nice if there were any surviving Deaf Black Gallaudet students who experienced racial segregation in restaurants would share stories. I have not read any books or articles that would share their experiences prior to 1951 or in this matter, the very day today when it became illegal, how would they react to the change of life?
Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier
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