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A Few Impacts Netflix's Audible for Black Deaf Male Teenagers in Deaf Education Programs

Background Information

Content notification: Suicide, mental health, and other possible triggers.

[Spoiler alert]

[ID: Victorica sitting down behind a green background is in a blue polo shirt with a white logo of Monroe Pedagogy on their left chest]

An educational consultant of Monroe Pedagogy wants to clarify that watching Netflix's reality series, Gallaudet U, is not meant to be on the must-watch list; therefore, an article will only discuss Netflix's unscripted and documentary film, Audible. Asking a reader to be open-minded and open the heart to echo a few perspectives of the educational consultant is deeply appreciated and respected.

Generally, casting a Black Deaf male teenager as a protagonist in a major show industry has often been invisibility. Casting Amaree McKenstry-Hall, a Black Deaf male teenager and protagonist in Audible is a beautiful rarity. The intention of writing an article is to interpret McKenstry-Hall's social change remarks critically in Audible and address oppressive issues for Black Deaf male teenagers in Deaf Education programs in the Deep South. Notoriously, people who are currently working in Deaf Education programs in the Deep South to refuse and avoid discussions about oppression toward Black Deaf male teenagers which leads to persistently bigoted attitudes, decisions, and resisting for much needed change the perspective of the Black Deaf male teenager.

As a former Black LGBTQ+ Deaf educator, coach, and student-athlete in 0-22 years old Deaf Education and a native-born in the Deep South, after watching some scenes in Audible is relatable and evident; therefore, a few perspectives will be shared through the article below.

A Few Impacts through Netflix's Audible for Black Deaf male teenagers in Deaf Education Programs Especially in the Deep South

"I want to say something to Black people. I want you to be yourself and find your own identity." Quoted by Amaree McKenstry-Hall through the Daily Moth Interview.

After watching Audible, the film addressed a much-needed dialogue about social change topics in the Deaf Education world is overdue. Although some scenes of the documentary film are presented with common themes, different perceptions, and misconceptions, a few scenes in Audible has been impactful for Deaf Education programs across the country, especially in the Deep South. In Deep South, people who work in Deaf Education programs remain to upholding their beliefs in the uniformity of societal expectations for a Black Deaf male teenager. Amaree McKenstry-Hall, a Black Deaf male protagonist in the documentary film, demonstrates his precedent groundbreaking, tough adversity, and pure vulnerability. Hence, McKenstry-Hall's references in Audible about various social change topics impact profoundly.

In general, Black Deaf male teenagers suffers most through education when facing oppression in different forms. With a societal expectation, tBlack Deaf male teenagers always perceives as a thug, starter, and troublemaker. In addition,Black Deaf male teenagers experience adultification (the erasure of childhood life experiences). In the Deep South, Black Deaf male teenagers expect to be outstanding athletes, but not exceptional students. Thus, If Black Deaf male teenagers did not perform well on a playing ground will be immediately shamed, ostracized, and humiliated yet unconcerned about academics.

Talking about Black Deaf male teenagers with mental health is not much. A protagonist, Amaree McKenstry-Hall, of Audible, shares his vulnerability about mental health. His suicidal experience on a major screen has been creating a precedent groundbreaking for the entire Black Deaf male teenagers who might and are currently struggling with and know that they are not alone. Through the experience of working in Deaf Education, dealing with many Black Deaf male teenagers who choose to hide their mental health due to a societal expectation such as a Black male does not show tearing are often common. The thoughtful protagonist paid homage to his late childhood friend Teddy Webster saying that his suicidal ideation and depression, including self-harm, were in Audible explicitly in response to Webster's tragic death by suicide. The importance of sharing his emotional narrative must be recognized and valid. His emotional narrative conveys that Black Deaf male teenagersin the Deep South is free expressing their emotions. Nevertheless, his explicit statements deliver a clear message that talking about suicide must be normalized. Talking about suicide in Deaf Education programs in the Deep South is challenging because of a strong, strictly, and rigorously religious view.

In rare cases,Black Deaf male teenagers hardly talking about an LGBTQ+ theme is a very common. Amaree McKenstry-Hall, a protagonist, normalizes addressing the LGBTQ+ theme when he mentions his late childhood friend Teddy Webster's sexuality and was in love with Jalen Whitehurst. He, again, sets a predicant to carry on a conversation about LGBTQ+ in memory of his late childhood friend. In the Deep South, Black Deaf LGBTQ+ is more oppressed because of the layered intersectionality. Discussing it is always not friendly, avoidance, or impermissible. The protagonist's remarks about LGBTQ+ on a major screen lifts the beacon of hope in Deaf Education programs in the Deep South.

In Audible, Amaree McKenstry-Hall, a protagonist, refers to uncomfortable social change topic remarks to viewers, specifically those who work in Deaf Education programs in the Deep South, that pushing up to have a much-needed dialogue. Watching Audible is an opportunity to tough upon uncomfortable social change topics to discuss problematic issues in Deaf Education programs for Black Deaf male teenagers to focus on being an athlete, dismiss mental health, and rarely talk about LGBTQ+ with layared intersectionality. After watching Audible, finally, the film swiftly opens the can of worms to address social change topics toward Deaf Education programs across the country, especially in the Deep South. The protagonist quotes through the Daily Moth with a news anchor, "oh, it was horrible. I'm appreciative to have made it through the coronavirus pandemic." His quotation leads to thinking about his academic experience would make it more interesting if spotlighting him as an academic in Audible regardless of academic potentials. Unfortunately, the scene of the academic atmosphere is absent in Audible, which leads to creating further misconceptions and perceptions for Black Deaf male teenagers that being an athlete is the final choice. If adding a scene in Audible how he demonstrated to overcome a tough adversity and personal barrier as a student-athlete in a classroom would be impactful, especially for Black Deaf male teenagers in the Deep South.

Written by Victorica Monroe

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