By John Baugh
The media frenzy surrounding the 1996 answer by way of the Oakland institution Board introduced public awareness to the time period "Ebonics", but the suggestion is still a secret to such a lot. John Baugh, a well known African-American linguist and schooling professional, deals an obtainable rationalization of the origins of the time period, the linguistic fact in the back of the hype, and the politics in the back of the outcry on each side of the talk. utilizing a non-technical, first-person variety, and bringing in lots of of his personal own studies, Baugh debunks many commonly-held notions in regards to the means African-Americans converse English, and the result's a nuanced and balanced portrait of a fraught topic. This quantity may still attract scholars and students in anthropology, linguistics, schooling, city reports, and African-American reports
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Extra resources for Beyond Ebonics: Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice
I share these observations, in part, because readers should be fully aware of my early childish sense of linguistic superiority over my classmates and neighbors who were learning English as a new language, along with my racist reactions to their speech. In a real sense my uninformed negative response to learners of English as a second language was similar in nature to many of those who chastise African American vernacular speech norms. ’’ Even conservative African American pundits who lament afﬁrmative action speak at length about their personal sense of linguistic shame (see chapter 9, in this volume).
Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice 9 The confrontation escalated, becoming louder and more vulgar, and Carlos turned up the insults in his best rendition of a vulgar urban vernacular, claiming that my mother had excessively large breasts. I, of course, took considerable umbrage and responded in kind, with equally distasteful comments about his mother and her sexual proclivities. In the process I not only insulted his mother but mimicked his Latino accent, which infuriated him even more. At that time I was relatively small—and quite small in comparison to Carlos.
Thomas Jefferson is perhaps the most symbolic harbinger of this historical paradox. This irony rarely escapes American slave descendants or others who share Dr. King’s dream of racial equality. Most Americans reﬂecting on their own personal ancestry can likely identify those ancestors who spoke languages other than English, or who spoke nonstandard English, when they ﬁrst came to America. Not only would they have been victims of linguistic discrimination within the larger society, they would also likely have been branded with derogatory labels.