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Rochester's Roots: Beating racism and ableism

February 11, 2019 09:51 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Throughout Black History Month, News10NBC is focusing on the role of African Americans have played in Rochester's roots.

Shirley Jeanne Allen wanted to be a musician until she went deaf at age 20. 

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Refusing to give up, she performed her recital anyway and then embraced the deaf African-American community. 

She attended the University of Rochester, becoming the first deaf black woman in the world to earn a doctoral degree.

She would later return to Rochester to teach at RIT from 1973 until 2001.

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