Nobody Mean More to Me Than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan

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Amy Wingard
English 1320

English is the standard language of America. In the essay "Nobody Mean More to Me than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan" by June Jordan, Jordan proves that Black English represents African American's identity, and how the language should be taught in schools.

June Jordan fights for the recognition of Black English because she feels that the language is disappearing into a world where nobody cares. However, it is not the dialect that she is urging to be taught in schools, it is the importance of the language. Jordan believes that schools, media, and families have stripped the importance out of Black English. She writes that Black English encloses "life, voice, and clarity" and that Standard English does not withhold these properties. Jordan uses a student of hers, Willie Jordan, to show an example of a student trying to regain the confidence of his past. Willie's story shows the dramatic affects of learning by Standard English and how racism goes unnoticed. The African American culture and language has been pushed further and further into assimilation, and Jordan believes that study of Standard English in schools promotes writing that is verbally correct but not what is sincere. Jordan also looks at the use of Black English compared to the languages in other countries. India and Nicaragua all have a multilingual language. She demonstrates that all citizens of these countries, despite the various languages, are permitted to formal education in their own languages. Jordan argues in her essay that it is time for all people to open their eyes to the importance of each individuals language, culture, and individuality.
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