10 Online Communities for Black Deaf Folk

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10 Online Communities for Black Deaf Folk

Black Deaf people have one of the most unique cultures in the world. The Black Deaf Community is largely shaped by two cultures and communities: Deaf and African-American. Some individuals view themselves as members of both communities. Since both communities are viewed by the larger, predominately hearing and non-POC society as comprising a minority community, Black Deaf persons often experience an even greater loss of recognition, racial discrimination and communication barriers coming from both communities. 

Knowing that there are people with similar experiences as you can be a huge relief, however finding those kindred spirits can be hard. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have made it easier for these communities to connect onlineIf you are a Black Deaf individual seeking to connect with others like you, consider joining one of these online communities.  

*The majority of these Facebook groups are private. Be sure to read carefully the rules and conditions before requesting to join (RTJ), and as always, be respectful. 

Finger spelled "BASL"

Black American Sign Language (RTJ) – is a space for all Black Deaf people that come from different backgrounds where they can share their input about Black American Sign Language (BASL). The signs used by some members of the group may vary by generation. You may see some old school signs and other varieties – diversity is welcome! If you are looking to share your BASL experiences with others, request to join!

Black Deaf Women of the DMV

Black Deaf Women of the DMV (RTJ) – If you are a Black Deaf woman in Washington Metropolitan area and would like to meet with other Black Deaf women, this group is for you. This group welcomes women from all walks of life looking to meet new/old faces and join in on events such as hiking, watching movies, traveling, Starbucks, sporting events, and more.

National Black Deaf Advocates

National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (NBDA) – NBDA is the leading advocacy organization for thousands of Black Deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. There are 30 local chapters across the United States. You can connect with hundreds of their members and partners.

Colorful illustration of a flower

Transformative Deaf Education – The mission of the Transformative Deaf Education (TDE) is to promote the practice of transformative pedagogy in Deaf Education and deaf programs. While TDE is not explicitly for Black Deaf educators, its founder Veronica Monroe is a Black Deaf educator. TDE spotlights how schools can better educate deaf students of color, LGBTQIA, and non-traditional identities.

Drawing of Donald Glover's "This Is America" music video

Black Deaf Village (RTJ) – This Facebook group was created so Black Deaf individuals could have a haven where they can discuss things of concern to the community.

Black and Deaf in America: Are we that different?

Black Deaf History and Cultures – This is a page that share videos, stories, and information about Black Deaf communities – including Black Children of Deaf Adults (CODAs) and interpreters.

Black Deaf Progressive Movement (BDPM)

Black Deaf Progressive Movement (BDPM) (RTJ) – Members of this group engage in community advocacy and dialogues about such topics pertaining to Politics, Education, Social Issues, Mental Health, Deaf Talent of Color in Film and Television, Accessibility, Black Deaf Businesses, and the Economic Equality of Rights and Advocacy of all Persons. They aim to find ways to reach solutions, such as community accountability and unpacking, and dismantling race-based discrimination, oppression, and audism in our communities.

The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL

Black ASL Project  – The Black ASL Project is a language project which aims to describe the linguistic features of a variety of American Sign Language (ASL) used by African American signers and usually known as Black ASL. The project is sponsored by Gallaudet University’s Department of Linguistics and Department of ASL and Deaf Studies and is supported in part by the Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation Project # BCS-0813736.

NAOBI

National Alliance of Black Interpreters, Inc. (NAOBI, Inc.) (RTJ) – NAOBI is an alliance organization with the mission to promote excellence and empowerment among African-Americans/Blacks in the profession of Sign Language interpreting in a multi-cultural/multi-lingual environment. 

Deaf People of Color

Deaf People of Color (DPOC) (RTJ) – While this group is also not explicitly for the Black Deaf community, DPOC is a safe space for all who self-identify as a Deaf person of color. The aim of this group is to support and address the issues that Deaf people of color (DPOC) may be struggling with. The intention is not to divide, but to explore different perspectives within our communities and find true freedom in a way that does not ignore difficult social realities. 

For those of you looking to meet Black Deaf people face to face outside of online forums, there are a few options available to you, including some regional and national level conferences.

National Black Deaf Advocates hosts biennial regional and national conferences. This year there are two regional BDA conferences scheduled:

The 8th Biennial Midwestern Regional BDA Conference

The 8th Biennial Midwestern Regional BDA Conference will take place from June 19-21, 2020 in St. Louis, MO. The conference theme is: “Expecting the Best for the Black Deaf Community in 2020.”

The 8th Biennial Southwestern Regional BDA Conference

The 8th Biennial Southwestern Regional BDA Conference will take place from July 24-26, 2020 in Duncanville, TX. The conference theme is: “20/20 Vision – The View From Here: Black and Deaf in America.”

The National Deaf People of Color Conference is one of the biggest convenings of Deaf POCs in America. The annual conference has been led by Deaf Women of Color, an organization which empowers and advocates for its community through outreach, education and acknowledgement. DWOC offers networking opportunities, resources, and services to community members. 

National Deaf People of Color (NDPCC) Conference

The NDPCC conference will take place June 25-28, 2020 at Northeastern University. Registration is now open. 

Happy Black History Month!

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We look forward to learning more from you.

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