Reader Chris passes along an article about differences in American Sign Language usage between white and African-American signers. Researchers investigating what they call Black ASL found significant variations in signs, signing space, and facial cues. They explain:
Black ASL is not just a slang form of signing. Instead, think of the two signing systems as comparable to American and British English: similar but with differences that follow regular patterns and a lot of variation in individual usage.
They hypothesize that these differences began in segregated learning environments, and continue to evolve in Black social spaces. The whole article is worth a read.
Thanks, Chris, and remember — you can submit Wonk-worthy links through our ask or via email!
i’m pretty uncomfortable with the use of mainstream here, since it is othering.