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Fred Michael Beam watercolor

 Collection — Frame: 1
Identifier: RITDSA-0145

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of a mixed media artwork created by Deaf artist Fred Michael Beam. The piece is titled "Through Deaf Slave's Eyes" and is completed using watercolor and color pencil. "Through the Eyes of Deaf Slave" tells the story of a BlackDeaf individual who has gone through American history as an “invisible” human being. The Black Deaf Individual tries to find a way to reach the heart of people as he is passing the American flag. He tries to let America know that he is a human being even though he was struggling with two identities, Black and Deaf as his hands are chained. When one is silenced, he is faded in the back of our history book."


  • Creation: 2009


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Fred Michael Beam has a varied theatrical background, including acting, choreography, directing, administration, advocacy and leadership. He served as president of National Black Deaf Advocates from 2007 to 2009, and executive director of Invisible Hands International, which promoted deaf awareness through the performing arts.

He previously performed as one of the Wild Zappers, an American Sign Language/dance ensemble of black deaf men, which he co-founded with Irvine Stewart and Warren “Wawa” Snipe in 1989. The troupe performed throughout the United States and abroad. Beam also directed the National Deaf Dance Theatre.

For his outstanding work with the deaf community, Beam was chosen one of Essence Magazine’s Real Men of the Year (2006), and was DEAF LIFE magazine’s Deaf Person of the Month in December 2007.

Beam graduated from RIT/NTID and was appointed outreach coordinator for Sunshine 2.0, the new theater outreach program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in 2016.


3 Linear Feet (framed art work)




Collection consists of one artwork by BlackDeaf artist Fred Michael Beam, titled Through Deaf Slave's Eyes.

Physical Location

RIT Archive Collections

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The artwork was purchased by Joan Naturale, NTID Librarian. Accession number(s): 2015.0145


The piece measures 24 X 17 inches.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lisa Witt in October 2015.

Fred Michael Beam watercolor
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Lisa Witt
16 December 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA