This film competed in
NFMLA March Showcase
Director(s): Patsy Koch Johns and Sally Nellson Barrett
For Arthur McWilliams IV, he wants the world to know there is no universal image for poverty. For him, poverty is not an image – it’s a reality and he grew up in this world. In “Poor, Deaf Kid,” the symbolic performance piece written, performed and signed by McWilliams, he reveals how language barriers can affect the ability to obtain education. Through this emotional and deeply moving monologue, McWilliams’ story radiates the pain, promise and misunderstanding that are often times seen in the face of students dealing with poverty – especially those experiencing a disability, trauma or violence. For McWilliams, economic situations and classism is not black and white, and while his story is an indirect experience about his time in public schools, his story reiterates a common idea: the experiences students face outside of the school hours often come to meet them in the classroom.