Friday, October 31, 2008

Interview With April Jackson: The Missouri Deaf Community

I interview April Jackson, who is a fifth generation from a deaf family in Missouri. The Missouri state is well known for being a "bellwether," which means it uniquely has been able to predict the national victor in elections. Whenever a presidential candidate wins Missouri, then there is a good chance he will be able to win the rest of nation. So that's why political pundits pay close attention to Missouri.

And of course, there is a deaf community there!


Leah Katz-Hernandez: Hello, I'm here with student April Jackson who is from the state of Missouri. I'm going to interview her. April, tell me about your background - where are you from?

April Jackson: I'm from Kansas City, Missouri. I was born the fifth generation in a deaf family. My grandfather first enrolled into a deaf school around the 1940s/1930s around that time. And my mom went to a deaf school. However, I never went to a deaf school myself. And the deaf community?

Leah Katz-Hernandez: Yes, thank you. You have strong links to your family's generations in Missouri. That's nice... now, I'm curious about Do you mind explaining to us about the deaf community in Missouri? Whats it like?

April Jackson: I remember my grandfather used to have those deaf gatherings back in the day where they'd discuss together and talk about politics. They'd go to Kansas City, St. Louis, Columa, Missouri. And they'd always get together and discuss; talk with each other. Until my time came today, I can see that there aren't much deaf people getting together. In query, I asked my mom and my grandfather what happened to the deaf gatherings... where is it now? The answer was unfortunately, the deaf community is spread out now and the individuals are not aggressive enough to come together. I really felt that there is the need for deaf community to come together. Not be passive and let things go. I think it would be better if some deaf people came together to set up gatherings throughout the suburban, the cities, and the towns. The key is to help others get in touch with each other, be connected, so we may go back to the old times. It would help them and beneficial because the government could recognize that deaf people could do something for their state. We do need that.

Leah Katz-Hernandez: Thanks. Hmm, the deaf community is large or small in Missouri? Which one is it?

April Jackson: There is definitely large number of deaf people. However, it isn't well-established or recognized. Many people choose to stay home and then they'll be surprised to discover that there is a deaf community. They don't know because they stay home. I encourage them to come out of their nests. Unfortunately, many of them stay home. Most of the times, when I meet people from Missouri I'm surprised to hear that they're from Missouri: What? You're from Missouri?? I should have known them because of my deaf family. They'll say, I stay home and work. Ah, that shows me that they haven't done much for themselves to be active in the deaf community. They're focused on work, the home environment, family, and that's pretty much it. A good example is during my mother's time, she would get together with people before she had a family until she had a family of her own. She started to shift her focus towards children and prioritize less on other people. For me to think about that, wow, maybe for other people its the same thing. Or they really don't care about politics. There are many different reasons, such as not enough motivation for meeting other deaf people. I'm not sure.

Leah Katz-Hernandez: Thanks a lot! Bottom line, looking at deaf peoples participation and community gatherings fading away has become to be the norm. Its understandable. Different states face different things in the deaf community. However, I want to emphasize that the Missouri deaf community really is in a very important position for the rest of the deaf community in America. Why is that so? Because politicians tend to visit Missouri more often and recognize that the state of Missouri is really important to them due to the fact that whoever wins the election in that state will usually predict the whole nations winner for presidential elections. So that means the importance of Missouri is increased for the deaf community, too. If the community is able to mobilize into a strong voting unit, they can help change or decide the national outcome. So the politicians who come and visit Missouri will listen to the deaf community. That's why the Missouri deaf community is in a great position to help improve the conditions, getting political clout and attention, and more that could help other deaf communities. I'm going to directly let you know: Those of you who live in Missouri, you ARE in a position of power and you can do it!

April Jackson: Yes!

Leah Katz-Hernandez: Thank you.


Beaux Arts de Boutjean said...

Thank you for inviting her to discuss politics in Missouri's deaf communityof the past as well as of the present.

The same can be said about others in the USA. There are two blogs on DeafRead focussing on Democrats and Republicans respectively. Few, very few deaf people make video comments.

It is interesting to note that -- according to TV news -- there are more people than ever before TO GO OUT TO REGISTER. It goes to show that more and more Americans are deeply discontent with the Bush Administration for the last eight years and are dying to see THE CHANGE. Why can Bush splurge nearly $2 trillion like a drunken sailor for Iraq, but he cannot help 47 million UNinsured people. There are nearly 300 million Americans, so why can Bush not pay $1 million to each of the three million Americans.

Keep up the good work!

Cruise Trip for the Deaf - Oct 2007 said...

Don't blame Bush!

In 2004 Democrats attacked Republicans who sought
regulation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Dems
claimed Fannie/Freddie were sound. Guess what! Dems ruined the economy!

Remember there are more dems than republicans at D.C.!


Beaux Arts de Boutjean said...

Banks are the culprits. They
have been unreasonably greedy
and are being investigatged
by the FBI.

After announcing about
the $700 billion bailout,
Bush said: "We owe China
$500 billion. Whoa!

Bush has been encouraging
employers to outsource to
India and other Asian countries
like China, the Philippines,
Thailand because hiring people
there would help empllyers
become wealthy more quickly.
Bush said in one of biographies
that ASian people do not
complain 20 cents per hour
without any coverage for
health, dental, SS, the way
Americans complain. So
heartless of Bush because
most employees American
employers hire are between
11 and 15 years old. Therefore,
Harry Belafonte criticised
anyone who work fort Bush
becuase Bush allows "slavery".

I want Obama. He is a genuinely
caring man for middle class