Black preachers and comedians and singers, especially rappers, also use it for dramatic or realistic effect

Black preachers and comedians and singers, especially rappers, also use it for dramatic or realistic effect

That depends on whom you ask. Black writers from Paul Laurence Dunbar to Zora Neale Hurston to August Wilson have made extensive use of it in their work, and some, like James Baldwin («this passion, this skill, . this incredible music.»), Toni Morrison, and June Jordan have praised it explicitly. But many other people, black and white, regard it as a sign of limited education or sophistication, as a legacy of slavery or an impediment to socioeconomic mobility. Some deny its existence (like the black Chicagoan whose words «Ain’t nobody here talkin’ no Ebonics» belied his claim). Others deprecate it (like Maya Angelou, who found the Oakland School Board’s 1996 Ebonics resolutions «very threatening» although she uses Ebonics herself in her poems, e.g. «The Pusher»).

Others emphasize Ebonics’ African origins, noting that West African languages often lack th sounds and final consonant clusters (e

compatibility dating

It should be said, incidentally, that at least SOME of the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the Oakland resolutions arose because the resolutions were misinterpreted as proposals to teach Ebonics itself, or to teach in Ebonics, rather than as proposals to respect and take it into account while teaching standard English. The method of studying language known as ‘contrastive analysis’ involves drawing students’ attention to similarities and differences between Ebonics and Standard English. Continue reading «Black preachers and comedians and singers, especially rappers, also use it for dramatic or realistic effect»