The main topic of this paper is the USA, and I have chosen to concentrate on a
fairly new issue, the language know as Ebonics. There have always been changes
in the English language. This is how the language came about and evolved from
standard British English to American English.
During the last few years, as the world has become more sensitive to the rights
of minorities, women, animals, etc. a new form of changes has taken place. These
changes have become known as Political Correctness.
Ebonics is the political correct version of Afro-American English. I intend to
show that – and comment on how – racialism and competition affects a society and
how this, in the case of Ebonics, is actually happening in today's America.
Nuuk February 1997 Ral Fleischer
THE QUESTIONS ASKED I will attempt to answer the following questions about
Ebonics; - what is Ebonics? - what are the underlying reasons behind Ebonics? -
who is prospering from Ebonics?
What is Ebonics? Most people outside of America have at most but a vague idea of
what Ebonics is all about. Apart from being a buzzword in American media since
December 1996 what are the fundamental concepts behind this expression? Where,
how and when did it start, and who started it?
What are the underlying reasons behind Ebonics? To fully understand Ebonics,
some historical background is needed. One has to have some knowledge on how the
English language has developed in America. Furthermore one has to be aware how
the American society is loaded down with the influence of stereotypical thinking,
racialism and competition. In his autobiography, the famous black spokesman,
Minister Malcolm X, portrays the undisguised hostility that exists between white
and black people in America. He illustrates this conflict with the following
words: "…You cannot find one black man, I do not care who he is, who has not
been personally damaged in some way by the devilish acts of the … white man!.
The greatest miracle … in America is that the black … has not grown
violent … they would have been justified by all moral criteria, and even by the
democratic tradition" (The Autobiography of Malcolm X, page 371 & 349)
Is Ebonics simply the democratic consequence, a black non-violent upraise
against the "devilish acts of the white man" as as foreseen by Malcolm X?
Who is pros...
... middle of paper ...
standard of excellence for all its students. 2). Oakland Unified School District
is providing its teachers and parents with the tools to address the diverse
languages the children bring into the classroom. 3). The District's objective is
to build on the language skills that African-American students bring to the
classroom without devaluing students and their diversity. We have directly
connected English language proficiency to student achievement. 4). The term
"genetically-based" is synonymous with genesis. In the clause, "African Language
Systems are genetically based and not a dialect of English," the term
"genetically based" is used according to the standard dictionary definition of
"has origins in." It is not used to refer to human biology.
Hooked on Ebonics, p. 50
Ebonics: A Way to Close the Learning Gap?, p. A01
Among Linguists, Black English Gets Respect, p. A10
Race, Culture and Intelligence, p. 104
Two Nations, Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal, p.42
Ebonics: A Way to Close the Learning Gap?, p. A01
Synopsis of the adopted policy on standard American English Language
development, appendix 1
Ebonics: A Way to Close the Learning Gap?, p. A01
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