#DeafSuccess: WaWa Warren Snipe, Performing Artist

Sep 26, 2018

[Subtitles available in English & Spanish | Subtítulos disponibles en español y inglés]

Video Description: https://tinyurl.com/r3l373u

[Begin visual description. Video. A black man sits in center of screen from the waist up on what appears to be a stage. He has long thin braids or dreads that are pulled back and a very short salt and pepper goatee. He wears a CI in his right ear, a gold cowl necked long sleeve top with a black top underneath, and a silver toned wedding ring. The background is of a darkened auditorium, all lights except for stage lights shining at him. The auditorium seats are light golden colors and a thin ray of light can be seen between and at the bottom of two sets of double doors along the back wall. A white text insert on the left side of the screen appears: “warren “Wawa” snipe” in bold with “performing artist” in thin font beneath. He signs:

“People may say, “You can’t do this because you’re Deaf.”

The text insert disappears and the camera moves back a bit. Throughout Wawa’s dialogue, the camera will continue to move in and back as he says different lines. He continues, looking off screen to the right for a moment and then back at the camera:

“Typically, that kind of statement would cause someone to shut down. They would accept that statement as fact, then find some job that allows them to get by and pay the bills.”

His expression is sarcastic and he rolls his eyes slightly to show how he feels. He pauses, gives a side eye to the right, and continues again:

“But where’s your passion? Where’s your dream? I was the first man in my family to attend college.  I worked 2 jobs on campus, took 18 to 20 credit hours, and was a part of 2 dance companies. It was crazy, but I was hungry!”

Camera zooms in a few times, and comes back in as he says:


He continues:

“So today, I own my own company.”

The next few lines are voiced over a series of clips and stills. The voiced lines are:

“I perform, do music, teach and educate people about Dip Hop.  I want to expose the hearing community to Deaf culture through Hip Hop.”

The clips and stills are:

  1. A black and white photo of a younger looking Wawa wearing a zip-up hoodie with a mic clipped to the hood attached to a headset, light shirt, and jeans. He is In the middle of dancing with his hands out in front, elbows bend, and mouth wide open. Behind hi is a long fold up style table with DJing gear set atop a metal box. Wires crisscross from gear to over the back of the table and a microphone is set up on a stand. A black man stands behind the table, working the DJ equipment with one hand on the gear. He is smiling. Background is entirely black.
  2. Next is another black and white photo of Wawa seen from behind. He is standing on stage facing a large audience behind light colored waist high barriers full of black, white, male, female, young, old people wearing baseball caps, jackets, hoodies, clapping, yelling, smiling, dancing. Wawa has his knees bent with his right hand up in a wave towards the audience. His hair is pulled back into a pony tail on the top of his head and wears a t-shirt and dark pants. Next to him is another black man wearing a bandana and light colored large glasses. He has a t-shirt on with white illegible font, wears jeans, and has his hands clasped together low at the hips as he faces Wawa’s side. To Wawa’s left is a person cut off by edge of the screen, they appear to be white and clapping their hands. Behind that person is another person who appears to be black with one hand on hips and a watch on the wrist.
  3. Next is a clip in washed out pinkish color, like an older 90’s style video. Set on the floor in front of a stage, Wawa is standing in front of a row of teenaged girls with one man in the middle as he counts out a beat on his right hand and steps to the left looking back towards the girl. He wears a mic headset, a white t-shirt with red font, and jeans. As the girls step to the left, we see a white man at the end of the row who is also following along. He wears a white newsboy cap backwards on his head, a blue and red baseball jersey short sleeve with white print (reading “Zurich) and plaid shorts. Presumably he’s one of the Anderson Twins. The girl next to him is black with her hair up in a top bun, she wears a navy tshirt with red font printed across and jeans. The next girl, also black, has her hair back with a bow tying it, wears a light long sleeve and black leggings, next to her is the other set of the twins wearing the exact same outfit but his cap is forwards and he is signing to the girl on the other side of him. That girl is white, blonde hair, wears a colorful striped short sleeve and denim shorts. The last girl is light skinned with a short afro, earrings, a yellow t-shirt, denim shorts, and a large denim purse slung across her body. They are all smiling and following along with Wawa.
  4. Next, a music video clip. We see a black and white closeup of Wawa as he sits on a leather couch and sings to the camera. He wears a shit hooded short sleeve with dark tribal print along the edge of the sleeve and down the middle depicting patterns of swirls, dots, triangles, flowers, branches, leaves, teardrops, and zigzags. The wall behind him is white. On the left side of the screen, black text appear one word at a time: “BUT IT HAD ACTION”. The text disappears and Wawa signs “enjoy” as more text appear on the right side of the screen this time: “ENJOYED THE SHOW.”
  5. A new music video appears showing Wawa standing waist up in the center of a red wall. He wears a camouflage printed button up with sleeves rolled up to the elbow. His hair is tied back. Two black bars bookend the top and bottom of the clip and white text appear one letter at a time on the top bar: “EVERYTHING”. As the word is spelled out, Wawa signs (illegibly) and then we come to a close up of Wawa’s hands and middle of his torso. The red wall has turned yellow and more text appear one letter at a time on the bottom black bar: “VIBRATE”. As that word is spelled out, we come back to Wawa from the waist up with a purple background this time. He signs with his right index pointing towards his forehead. The text disappears and new text appear across the top bar: “I THINK”. His index finger now points forward with his other palm facing up as he signs “falling in love”. We come back to a close up of his hands, still purple background, as text appears across the bottom: “I’M IN”.
  6. Next, White text appear across the middle over a gradient colored background changing from orange yellow on top to a rusty pink on the bottom: “WAWA’S WORLD”. An image of Wawa appears behind the text, still in the tonal orange to pink gradient and gradually turning full color. He is depicted with one arm crossed, and propping his other arm up so he holds his chin. He looks at the camera with a determined look and slight smile.

We come back to Wawa in the auditorium. He signs:

“It all starts with an idea. Get that idea down on paper. Create a timeline and begin working step-by-step.”

He takes a moment to point to the “paper” and emphasize writing it down. He continues:

“Every step you accomplish will help you get closer and closer to your goal.”

He takes a moment, placing one hand on the arm rest and looking right at the camera. He continues:

“If I can do it, I know damn well you can.  It doesn’t matter what color you are. It doesn’t matter what background you come from.  I’ve seen people who had nothing become successful. They started from the bottom.”

He nods his head and continues:

“People will laugh at you. I’ve been laughed at for so many years. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years.”

He smiles and raises his eyebrows. The camera pans in closer as he says:

 “Who’s laughing now?”

He winks and starts to turn away from the camera as the clip fades to white.

The teal “#deafsuccess” parallelogram banner appears, doing a quarter turn to display fully across the middle of the screen.

The banner fades out and an animation of the NDC logo forming plays. It moves up to reveal “National Deaf Center” in larger letters and “on Postsecondary Outcomes” in smaller letters underneath. The logo moves to the right, separated by a vertical teal line, more small text appears reading: “This video was developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, OSEP #HD326D160001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.” Underneath, three logos appear. The first reads “IDEAs that Work” with an arrow drawing a circle from “IDEAs” to “Work” and the words “U.S. Office of Special Education Programs”. The second logo shows a red-and-blue star with text next to it that reads “TA&D”. The third logo shows a blue circle around a tree. In the blue circle are the words “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.” End visual description]

Link to iTunes song playing in the background (Wawa’s music)
Plantation –


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© National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Video licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

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Topic(s): #DeafSuccess
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