VAHS ASL gallery highlights Black ASL history

Throughout the month of February, Verona Area High School students in Abbi Ewert’s American Sign Language (ASL) one, two and three classes worked to learn about and educate others on a history too often untold – Black ASL. 

During the Black ASL unit – which Ewert teaches every February as part of Black History Month – students in level one focus on research and a presentation. Level two students compile a timeline and map, while level three students complete an interactive piece, such as QR codes linking to different TikToks, YouTube videos or deaf Black-owned businesses. 

Though the classes worked on different portions of the project, all the pieces came together in a final gallery that was displayed at the high school. 

“Level one (students) did the bulk of the work,” Ewert said. “Then a gallery gets put together by the two other levels that have learned about it and presented on it, and now they’re just kinda recycling that and making it into something more culturally responsive to their environment – where it’s TikTok, using your phones, using technology – to spread the word.” 

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