Andrew Foster’s mother taught him that his love for learning was a gift – not a curse. But there was another reason he persisted against all odds.
He developed spinal meningitis at 11, which caused him to become deaf. In the 1930s, his educational opportunities – like all Black people, especially those with disabilities – were limited.
But he persisted, applying FIVE TIMES to Gallaudet University, despite their racist admissions policies.
When Foster finally was admitted, he became the first African American GU graduate. He took his “handicap” and turned it into his inspiration – developing countless programs for our people, like the Christian Mission for Deaf Africans.
He earned three degrees in six years, eventually opening 32 deaf schools in 13 African countries. Was that the end of his legacy?
No! His work manifests in his schools and students. When they lock us out, we create our better versions and stunt on them! Never underestimate our determination to establish viable educational institutions that serve us!
It’s crucial that Black people take control of our education, so our community can accomplish our goals, thrive, and better our communities!