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Dr. Andrew Foster By: Shea Chandler
Birth History • Born: June 27th 1925 • Dr. Andrew Foster was born in Ensley, Alabama. • He was the son of a coal miner.
Onset of Deafness • Dr. Andrew Foster lost his hearing at age 11, after suffering from spinal meningitis.
Educational History • Andrew went to Alabama School for the Colored Deaf in Talladega. • His family moved to Chicago where he finished his high school education in 1951.
Educational History Continued • Andrew attended Gallaudet University, where he was the first and only African American to be admitted. He graduated in 1954, and was the first ever African American to graduate.
More on Education • Upon completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, Andrew went to Eastern Michigan University and earned a master’s degree. • Later, Andrew earned another master’s degree from Seattle Pacific Christian College. • In 1971, Gallaudet University awarded Andrew a Doctoral Degree.
How Andrew Started Making History • Andrew began making history while he was in Washington D.C. Here, Andrew tutored and played with inner city deaf kids on the weekends.
Becoming a Missionary • After working with deaf inner city children, Andrew decided that he would like to become a missionary for the deaf in Africa
Missionary Work • In 1957, Andrew went to Africa and developed fundraising programs to develop schools for the deaf.
Developing Schools for the Deaf • With the money Andrew raised, he was able to develop 31 schools for the Deaf in Africa. • Andrew developed schools in Benin, Congo, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya. Nigeria, Sierra, Leone, and Cameroon.
Personal Life • In 1961, Andrew married a young woman named Berta. Berta was a deaf German women. • Berta and Andrew had five children together.
Continuing His Dream • After his marriage, Andrew and his wife continued to raise money for African schools. • Andrew and his wife spent six months out of the year establishing more schools and raising money to fund the schools. The other six months were dedicated to living in the United States and raising their family.
Honors and Awards • In 1970, Gallaudet University granted Andrew Foster an honorary doctor of humane letter in recognition of his accomplishments. • On October 22, 2004, Gallaudet University dedicated an auditorium in Andrew Foster’s name, calling him the “Father of Deaf Education in Africa.”
Andrew Foster’s Mission • Andrew, a very religious man taught sign language to many Africans, so they could fulfill his favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 29:18 “In that day, the deaf will hear the words of the book.”
Andrew Foster’s Death • In 1987, Andrew Foster’s life was cut short as he was killed in tragic plane crash while carrying on his pioneering work. • On this day, the Black Deaf Community lost an extraordinary leader.
Remembering Andrew Foster • Christian Mission for the Deaf, a non-profit organization which focuses on the Spiritual needs of deaf Africans is a missionary service which was inspired by Dr. Andrew Foster. This organization continues to carry on Andrew Foster’s mission for the Black Deaf community by raising money for educational needs of the deaf.
Works Cited Page • Christian Mission for the Deaf: http://www.cmdeaf.org • National Black Deafness Advocates: http://www.nbda.org/foster.html • Wikipedia: http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Foster_(educator) • African American Registry: http://www/aarefistry.com/detail.php?id=2779 • Deaf Is: http://www/deafis.org/culture/celebrities/foster.php