Black Sign Language ( Asl ) Essay

2514 Words Nov 20th, 2016 11 Pages
There are multiple versions of Sign Language, although the standard form that is widely accepted in the United States is American Sign Language (ASL). One version that derived from ASL is Black Sign Language (BSL) in which it is a dialect of ASL. BSL is primarily used among deaf African-Americans and has a commonality to ASL but there is a distinct difference in social attitudes, lexicon/semantics, phonology, morphology, and syntax (Brockway, 2011). The reason for this difference was the segregation of African Americans from their White counterparts. The language was founded during the Civil War, so Black students were not educated the same way their White counterparts were. For this reason, BSL was almost considered to be a separate language from ASL because of the differences of application, but a dialect is regional or social varieties that develop when people are segregated by geographic or barriers (4).
Thus, from the educational limits of Black students, the language was founded. Unlike White students during the 1800s, Black students did not obtain a residential school that taught them BSL until the 1850s, unlike White students who received their first residential school in 1817. But following the Civil War, more areas opened not just schools for Black citizens but residential schools for deaf Black students. Locally, P.H Skinner School is regarded as one of the first formal residential schools in the New York state area that educated Black students beginning in…

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