Curtis Pride Famous Black Deaf Black History Month
Curtis John Pride Curtis John Pride was born in Washington D.C., on December 17, 1968. He is the 2 nd child of Sallie Curtis Pride, a former registered nurse and John Pride, a former track star and specialist in disabilities at the Human Resources Department.
How he became deaf Sallie contracted rubella (German measles) during the 1968 nationwide outbreak. At 17 months, Curt was diagnosed as congenitally deaf with a profound sensorineural loss. A hearing aid amplifies the 5% he hears, but its just undecipherable noise.
Curtis Prides life At 2 years old, the Prides moved to Silver Spring, Maryland and enrolled him in the Montgomery County Public School Systems Auditory Services infant program. He spent his grade-school years in special- education oral classes. But even as a child, Pride refused to learn sign language. He saw that as a sign of defeat. He insisted he not be categorized by his deafness.
Sports, Schools and Pride He was always crazy about sports! His parents encouraged him to participate in sports. At 6 years old he joined the local T-ball league. He loved it! When Curt was ready to enter junior high school, his parents wanted to send him to a special school for the deaf, but he insisted in enrolling in a nearby public school. He was fully mainstreamed in neighborhood schools until he graduated. He graduated from John F. Kennedy in 1986.
Experience in the classroom Curt experienced many struggles in the mainstream classroom. Sometimes teachers would turn their back on him while lecturing. He would try to follow classmates conversations and would get help from a shy classmate, Steve Grupe, his best friend. Curts reputation as a top athlete gained him popularity. He was a straight-A student.
While in high school He broke several county records and virtually all of the single-season and career records for soccer, basketball and baseball. When he was 16 he toured China with the U.S. National all-star soccer team, competing for the 1985 Junior World Cup. Kick magazine named him one of the top 15 youth soccer players in the world.
Scholarships and Awards He was a Parade All-American in basketball, which gained him a full scholarship. But baseball was his first love. He signed a baseball contract before he graduated from High school, but also worked out an unusual deal where he could attend the college of William and Mary on the basketball scholarship and play baseball part- time.
His career He started playing for the New York Mets He graduated college in 1990 with a degree in finance. In 1993 Pride developed or exploded- into the major-league prospect. He joined the AA Harrisburg Senators, a farm club for the Expos. After an incredible 50 games, he was promoted June, 21, 1993 to the Expos.
Being Deaf He told reporters that being deaf motivated him: My handicap forces me to focus better. It frees me from unpleasantness around me. I cant let my mind wander. All my life, I worked hard to be normal. To prove I wasnt stupid. I never thought there was anything I couldnt do. I am not afriad of anything. My handicap taught me not to quit. Not to need sympathy from people or have them treat me differently. I think Ive been fortunate. I had talent, a good family and people to support me Im lucky.
Awards He received many awards for his achievements and his community service, including W&Ms James Kratzer Award, the National Council on Communicative Disorders; Youth Achievement Awards, The Washington Posts All-Mets Distinguished Alumni Award. In January 1995, he was selected by the U.S Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of the 10 Outstanding Youth Americans
After Professional Baseball Curtis Pride became a head baseball coach for Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, a university for deaf and hard of hearing students.