:: Deaf People in History: Day 3 – Andrew Foster ::

People – Andrew Foster

From Jamie Berke,
Your Guide to Deafness

Father of Deaf African Education

If there is any deaf African American man who has had a major impact with his life’s work, it is Dr. Andrew Foster. Not only did he establish many schools for the deaf in Africa, he was also the first African American to graduate from Gallaudet University (then Gallaudet College). Unfortunately, Foster was taken from this world in 1987 at the relatively young age of 62. To learn more about Foster’s life, readers may wish to consult the following resources:

Web Biographies

  • Dr. Andrew J. Foster – Part of a page on Black History Month, this brief biography has a photograph of Foster.
  • Christian Mission for the Deaf – Dr. Foster was a very religious man, and he founded this organization that brings the word of God to deaf Africans. The organization’s web site’s history section discusses Foster’s work and has two photographs showing Foster with students.


Deaf Mosaic segment – Episode #404 of the Gallaudet University-produced Deaf Mosaic had a tribute to Andrew Foster.


Great Deaf Americans – This book from Deaf Life Press has a chapter on Andrew Foster. (compare prices)

Movers & Shakers – This book from DawnSignPress has a chapter on Foster, “Bringing Hope to Deaf Africans.” (compare prices)

Foster’s Own Writings

The Christian Mission for the Deaf has archived samples of Foster’s writings about the religious and educational needs of deaf Africans.

Honoring Andrew Foster

National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA)spearheaded a successful effort to raise funds to produce a statue honoring Foster. According to a fundraising brochure from the NBDA, it would be the first time an African American deaf person was honored. In May 2004, the NBDA presented Gallaudet University with a bust of Foster sculpted by Virginia Cox. The Spring 2005 issue of Gallaudet Today had a full page picture of the sculpture on its inside back page.

Not only that, Gallaudet University also honored foster in Fall 2004 by dedicating an auditorium in Foster’s name. The Andrew Foster Auditorium Dedication website that was set up, included a clip on Foster from a Deaf Mosaic program.

Gallaudet University also has an Andrew Foster Endowment Fund (in cooperation with the NBDA) that supports the Andrew Foster Scholarship for African American deaf students at Gallaudet. To find out how to donate to the Andrew Foster Endowment Fund, contact the Development Office at Gallaudet University.


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  1. i wish to every around world to remember celebration the memorial of Dr foster who frist bring signlanguage in africa west so i want to know about andrew live when he is in africa please sir send book for me to know email me is sakyi kwaku
    p.o.box ds 545 dansoman accra ghana thank u for asepted i want to hear from u soon

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