Martin Luther King, Jr. ASL Video by Miss Black Deaf America

Martin Luther King, Jr. ASL Video by Chenae Laldee, Miss Black Deaf America 2013-2015

Transcript & footage description provided by Alison Aubrecht


Video Description: 4:00 video featuring Miss Black Deaf America sharing information about Martin Luther King, Jr. and reciting a poem. 

[Opens with view of Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument area in Washington, D.C. There are huge light colored blocks of stone and people are walking in between the stones, standing around and looking at the monument. Opening title: Miss Black Deaf America (second line) Martin Luther King Jr.]

[Video pans across one part of the monument, down to Chenae Laldee (Black Signing Young Woman wearing a burgundy sweater. She has long hair and is wearing black rimmed glasses. Bottom of screen in yellow on black text shows “Chenae Laldee Miss Black Deaf America 2013-2015”]

Chenae: Hello! Martin Luther King, Jr. (shorthand MLK) led the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from around 1950’s until he died in 1968. 

[Chenae is now standing in front of a different part of the monuments area. The stone in this area is a mix of light and dark colors.]

Chenae: Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African American citizens and the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. 

[Chenae is now standing in front of a different part of the monument, which is a dark grey stone, and has words engraved. She is standing off to the side, underneath the area where the quote begins. The engraved words are: “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”]

Chenae: Today, as we continue to struggle for equal rights and justice, we remain grateful for his actions and honor his memory. 

[Chenae stands under a new part of the monument, again in grey stone with words engraved. She is off to the side, where the engraved quote begins. Quote: “Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” Chenae is standing with her hands intertwined, resting. The words (yellow text) “Standing Tall” “by Jamie McKenzie” appear onscreen. While Chenae slowly and gracefully signs the poem words appear onscreen, again in yellow text.]

Chenae: Some Kings rule their kingdoms sitting down surrounded by luxury, soft cushions and fans [red text:] but [yellow text:] this King stood strong stood proud stood tall

[Side view of Chenae, who continues to sign the poem. New part of the monument, again grey stone with a quote etched. The quote is: “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”]

Chenae: When the driver told Rosa “[Red text} Move [yellow text] to the back of the bus!” 

[Same part of the monument, but this time a frontal view rather than a side view]

Chenae: When the waiter told students "We don't serve your kind!” 

[Same monument/quote, this time Chenae is standing on the other side of the quote. “Norway, 1964” below the quote is now visible.]

Chenae: When the Mayor told voters“ Your vote [Red text} don't count!" [Yellow text] 

[Close up] And when the sheriff told marchers“[Red text] Get off [Yellow text] our streets!"using fire hoses, police dogs and cattle prodsto [red text] move them [yellow text] along

[Close up, side view] [Red text] This [yellow text] King stood strongstood proudstood tallSpeaking of peace of [red text] love [yellow text] and children hand in hand free at las tfree at last 

[New monument area, Chenae stands to the side of a quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.] 

Chenae: When some yelled for violence For angry revenge An eye for an eye And a tooth for a tooth He stood his ground Preaching [Red text] peace

[Chenae stands under a new quote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny Whatever affects on directly, affects all indirectly.”]

[Yellow text] And when some spit out hate He stood there [red text] smiling [yellow text] Spreading [red text] love [yellow text] Until it rolled like the sea across the land [red text] Sweeping away [yellow text] Jim Crow[red text] Breaking down [yellow text] the walls Ringing the bell [red text] Joyfully For Freedom [yellow text] 

[New monument area. This time the stone is a lighter color, sort of tan/sandy colored. Monument looks like the outline of a mountain peak, with part of a quote etched in it. “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” Chenae is standing beneath the quote, long shot. There is a shadow behind her creating a very artistic look to the footage]

Chenae: Until Standing on the mountain top
[close up, Chenae is signing upwards, as if to someone high above] ] They [red text] shot [yellow text] him Coldly Hoping to [red text] see him fall [long shot, shadow background] Hoping to [red text] put him away To bring him low

[New area, Chenae stands in front of parts of the tan colored monument stones. There are people behind her, milling about.] [red text] But [yellow text] this King even in death

[Close up shot of Chenae, from below. Behind her is the entire statue of MLK, standing tall, etched into tan stone, with his arms crossed, gazing outwards. Blue skies above.] 

Chenae: even today stands strong stands proud stands tall

[Close up] [red text] And we [Chenae moves closer, leans towards camera] [yellow text in cursive shows up with sparkles, in front of Chenae as she signs] remember

[Camera slowly pans upwards/ zooms in at the entire statue of MLK. Cuts to people milling about. Fade to black.]

End Transcript

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