Hello, My name is Doreen Solar. After Vicki Hurwitz’s lecture on Deaf Women in History last month,
I became fascinated to study more about our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Legends.
Today, I am going to share one of many Deaf men in history: Andrew Foster.
Andrew Foster was born in Ensley, Alabama on 1925.
He was the first Black Deaf person to earn his bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet
And the first to earn his master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.
He also earned another master’s from Seattle Pacific Christian College
and he then went to Africa in 1957
because he was told that the deaf children did not exist by the hearing missionaries.
Actually, the parents either abandoned or hid their children.
Their culture was very discriminated, isolated and oppressive.
Andrew found deaf children and established a total of 31 schools
starting first in Ghana including other countries:
Benin, Congo, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon.
He also trained teachers, leaders, evangelism, Bible meetings, camps and youth centers
to reach the deaf.
After 30 years service in Africa, he had a plane crash
that killed him on December 3, 1987.
Gallaudet University dedicated an auditorium in his name,
“Father of Deaf Education in Africa” on October 22, 2004.
I was on Gallaudet campus for the Homecoming Event at that time
and saw a large group of Black Deaf people walking
down to the auditorium.
Out of my curiosity, I approached my colleague in the group
and asked her what the special occasion was.
She explained briefly that Gallaudet honors Andrew Foster’s work in Africa.
I did not understand at that time,
because I did not pay any attention to our Famous Deaf People.
Also, Gallaudet University has National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA)
Andrew Foster Endowment Fund that supports Andrew Foster scholarships
for African American deaf students at Gallaudet.
Please leave your comments.
If you know any other famous Deaf People,
please do not hesitate to share with the readers.