‘Unspeakable’ video highlights the role of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Black Lives Matter

Deaf poet Venita Smith signs the word “power” | Emmai Alaquiva

Filmmaker Emmai Alaquiva of Pittsburgh wanted to talk to his 8-year-old daughter about the racial climate in the US, but was concerned that at her age, she might not be able to fully grasp the issues.

“I told her the name ‘George Floyd’ and we talked about what Black Lives Matter means,” he says. “I sort of gave her the Cliffs Notes version, to give her some inspiration.”

His daughter surprised him, however, and came back to him with a question: “She said, ‘hey, Dad, how come there’s no people doing sign language or ASL in your photos and videos?’ It was a great point, we weren’t.” He says he and his daughter take ASL classes together, part of his mission to help her learn to express herself in different mediums.

Over the next few…

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