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Latino Families Are Trailblazing A New Culture For Deaf Latinos And This Documentary Is Highlighting Their Work

For some deaf Latinos, being a part of the deaf community can mean losing the Latino part of their identity.

In the United States, the deaf community signs using American Sign Language (ASL), which is based on American English. It’s rare for deaf schools to teach Spanish and rarer still to teach a Spanish-based sign system like Mexican Sign Language. So for deaf students from families like ours, the one place they are least understood is in their own home.

For one Latina mom, this just wasn’t acceptable.

Credit: deaf_latinos_org / Instagram

After giving birth to three deaf children, Irma was convinced that she had done something wrong in life. Often in our culture, women are taught to believe that if a child is born differently it’s because she, the mom, is being punished for something she did wrong in the past. Irma knew this just wasn’t true.

Even though she saw her children as beautiful gifts, she struggled to cope with the difficulty of raising her three deaf sons: Felix, Hector, and Enrique.

Language plays a major role in defining communities. Therefore, language can be a bridge or a barrier among cultures, and it can also be a source of cultural identity.

For Irma, one of the greatest worries was not being able to visualize a future for her children. It was hard to see her own kids in these Deaf white role models whose lives were fundamentally very different.

So then Deaf Latinos Y Familias was born.[

Credit: deaf_latinos_org / Instagram

Irma, who had been struggling to find Deaf Latino role models for her three boys, made it her mission to bring light not only into her boys’ lives, but for all deaf Latinos. In 2010, she founded the organization Deaf Latinos as a resource for people like her children and their families.

Irma’s three sons are all supportive of their mother’s newfound mission in life, saying they saw many parents struggling to connect with their children and that his mom wanted to bridge the connection between them regardless of how much they can hear.

Some parents struggle to communicate with their own children.

Another mother, Saira, came into Deaf Latinos after struggling to connect with her own deaf child, Jose. Saira refused to believe he’d forever be deaf and came to the U.S. from El Salvador hoping to find a ‘cure.’

Communication became super difficult and at times Saira would become so upset she’d sit outside of her home to cry. She felt alone and lost as if she was the only one with a deaf Latino child.

Discovering Deaf Latinos y Familias was a miracle in her eyes. Since joining the organization, she’s started learning new signs and new ways to communicate with Jose. But most importantly, she’s meeting other Latino families and realizing she’s not alone.

A family learns to grow together after challenging times.

Evelyn and Wilson have three children: Richie was born deaf, Darlin is disabled and requires therapy and wheelchair assistance, while Heaven was born prematurely at just six months old. Yet despite these struggles, they have persevered as a family and found new meaning in their lives.

After years of struggling to communicate, together they’ve started learning sign language with Deaf Latinos and feel closer as a family.

Fierce moms will do anything for their babies and these three fearless women show how powerful a family can be.

Saira, who is now pregnant with a girl, wonders if her little daughter will be born deaf. Her son Jose has asked the question which would she prefer and Saira responds: “It doesn’t matter, either way, she’ll learn to sign.”

While Irma, reflecting on her life and family, proudly proclaims that she wouldn’t change a thing about her life nor her journey. She’s grateful for her opportunities and vows to continue so long as she still has breath in her.

Now please excuse me while I go get a box of tissues to wipe away these happy tears.

READ: Your Mami Will Laugh And Cry Over These Super Relevant Mother’s Day Gifts

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This Deaf Woman Did AN ASL Cover Of Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ And When Is She Getting Hired To This For Shows?

Fierce

This Deaf Woman Did AN ASL Cover Of Cardi B’s ‘WAP’ And When Is She Getting Hired To This For Shows?

@Freelove19xx/ Twitter

Updated August 14, 2020.

Just when you thought the hype around Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” might be trickling down, a recent video of a deaf woman translating the lyrics has gone viral.

After dropping her big track collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion, Dominican/Trinidadian rapper Cardi B has had just about everybody repeating the beloved lines of the song over and over again. But the most important rendition of the big hit is one done by a woman who does ASL and performs to “WAP” like a boss.

The now-viral clip is beyond entertaining and inspiring to watch. Mostly because the woman in the video not only has the MOVES she also has the lyrics on lock.

A 25-year old TikTok and Twitter user by the name of Raven Sutton went viral for her recent “WAP” ASL cover.

Known on the social platforms as @Freelove19xx, she went viral over the weekend after she recorded herself passionately repeating the lyrics to “WAP” in ASL while channeling the slick and sexy vibe of the Cardi B x Megan Thee Stallion hit. In the video, the TikTok user can be seen interpreting each line of the WAP lyrics while expertly swaying her hips and bopping to the music.

In the comments, users questioned how @Freelove19xx was able to keep up with the rhythm of the music without hearing, she revealed that she has a “speaker that vibrates my whole house lmao. I can feel the music.”

Speaking to Fierce by mitú Sutton explained “What I loved most about the WAP song is that Cardi B and Megan are both successful women that aren’t afraid to speak their truth. They do not let other people’s expectations define them.”

Sutton who was born deaf after the deaf gene was passed down to her by her father told us that ASL is her native language and that she hopes her video shows nondeaf people that deaf people can do just as much as they can. “It’s a common assumption that Deaf people can’t do certain things because we can’t hear. Things like talking, dancing, listening to music etc,” she explained. “Truth is, us Deaf people enjoy the same things as everyone else. We ask to be included and accommodated so that the things we enjoy do not become a burden. Examples of accommodations are providing ASL interpreters, caption your videos, and learn ASL. Accessibility is important. Let’s all put in the work together.”

Sutton shared that people can learn basic ASL tools at Gallaudet University.

Sutton says that since post her video she’s noticed that “people are recognizing that there are a lot of Deaf Talent and creators out there. People are wanting to learn ASL. This is a great thing and I hope the recognition and fire energy continues.”

Users inspired by the tweet were quick to celebrate @Freelove19xx for her post.

“A lot of times the variations of a sign are used for a song’s chorus so that it doesn’t seem too repetitive or redundant. It’s a wholeass art, as a hearing person that knows ASL, it’s amazing to see EVERY DAMN TIME lol,” one user commented.

“I absolutely love this. I’ve taken deaf studies & ASL classes & trying to learn 1 sign a week since then. hopefully, I can be signing like u someday!” another user pointed out. “Its hard w no one to practice w but i hope to gain more friends in the deaf community to help me w that. Anyway, you did amazing!”

“Ahhhhh I have no words!!” an adoring commenter replied. “This is grounds for a marriage proposal.”

Thanks to the clip, fans are already demanding the obvious:

“Has anyone started a petition asking Cardi to have Bluejay in her next video yet?” one user asked.

As of this publication, @Freelove19xx has yet to respond to mitú’s request for comment.

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Serena Williams Twinning With Her Daughter On The Tennis Court Will Make Your Cheeks Hurt

Entertainment

Serena Williams Twinning With Her Daughter On The Tennis Court Will Make Your Cheeks Hurt

Hannah Peters / Getty

Serena Williams’s daughter someday might feel as if she has big shoes to fill but currently the 3-year-old seems to be doing it in stride.

Serena Williams and her daughter Alexis Olympia have been taking part in quite a bit of mommy/ daughter girl time. 

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Caption this (MUST SWIPE RIGHT)

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

In a series of  Instagram photos shared over the weekend, the sports athlete showed off Alexis’s tennis court skills. In what has to be the world’s cutest Instagram post, Williams and her daughter wear purple Nike bodysuits while striking poses with their tennis rackets. In the last image of the series, the mother/ daughter duo do a sweet high five.

More photos of the day were shared on Alexis’s official Instagram page which is run by her parents.

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Caption this

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In the photo, Serena and Alexis wear their long-sleeve bodysuits with skirts. Serena posted the photo with the caption “Caption this.” Of course, it didn’t take long for Alexis’s photo to receive tons of Instagram love. Dwyane Wade commented on the image saying “If this isn’t the cutest thing I’ve seen” Chloe x Halle awwed over the image as well.

It’s not the first time Alexis has stolen the limelight from her mother.

Earlier this year, Alexis stole more awws when her mother posted a photo of her holding her daughter while she was sleeping. In a post to Instagram, Serena wrote “I am not sure who took this picture but Working and being a mom is not easy. I am often exhausted, stressed, and then I go play a professional tennis match. We keep going. I am so proud and inspired by the women who do it day in and day out. I’m proud to be this baby’s mama @olympiaohanian#nofilter#nomakeup#nohairbursh lol #justme.”

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