Boston University BU, Martin Luther King Jr I have a dream speech 50th anniversary in American Sign Language ASL, Richard Bailey graduate studies, BU disability services, College of Arts and Sciences CAS, John Thornton professor of history and African American Studies program director of graduate studies, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra
Richard Bailey (GRS’13) (right) with John Thornton, a CAS professor of history and African American Studies program director of graduate studies, at Commencement weekend 2013. Photo by Christopher Robinson
By Leslie Friday


Earlier this year, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra was searching for an American Sign Language interpreter to translate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The orchestra was planning a concert commemorating the speech’s 50th anniversary and approached Christopher Robinson, a staff interpreter at BU’s Disability Services, about the job. But Robinson had a better idea: why not place native ASL users on stage and base their interpretations on an official ASL translation of the speech?
The BLO liked the idea—the only problem was that no official translation existed. Robinson had a solution for that as well: he suggested Richard Bailey, for whom he regularly interpreted African American studies courses.
Bailey (GRS’13), a native ASL user who is biracial, was studying the writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) as part of his master’s level research on identity and representation. He was willing to create an official translation, but there was a catch: it would have to be recorded, and Bailey was camera-shy.

Read the full article at BU Today

(http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream-speech-in-asl/) 

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