Uncle Jed's Barbershop Review

Uncle Jed's Barbershop

Video Review 
by Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, 
Maryland School for the Deaf

© 2003

Uncle Jed's Barbershop
by Margaree Mitchell
Illustrated by James Ransome
Signed by Rebecca Goldenbaum
VHS, 12 minutes, ASL, voice narration

Available from:
A Book A Day (State Adoptions in American Sign Language) series
©1997 California Department of Education
Clearinghouse for Specialized Media and Technology
560 "J" Street, Suite 390, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.445.5103 (v), 916.323.2202 (tty), FAX: 916.323.9732
Email: rbrawley@cde.ca.gov
Note: Available for California schools only.

This video adapts Mitchell’s 1993 picture book (Houghton Mifflin) into American Sign Language. The story is told from the point of view of Sarah Jean, a little black girl growing up in the segregated South. She tells of her favorite uncle, “the only black barber in the county,” and his dreams of someday opening his own barbershop. He saves his money for this dream, but readily parts with it when Sarah Jean needs an operation, and deals with the shock of losing all his money in the Great Depression by quietly starting to save again. Uncle Jed finally opens his own barbershop on his 79th birthday. This is quite a story about the power of dreams, and signer Rebecca Goldenbaum expresses the message with feeling. The video pans across James Ransome’s sumptuous illustrations, and the signer appears in front of the pictures. Simultaneous voiceover of the text makes the video accessible to non-signers.


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