African American and Ebonics

Topics: African American, English language, African American Vernacular English Pages: 2 (633 words) Published: October 4, 2005
The Origin of Ebonics

What if all of America spoke in Ebonics? "What up cuz" or "Holla at me." That would be crazy right? Sharice, Travis, Rickia, and I did a report on the evidence for the critical element of the Oakland school board proposal and the convention that temporary African American Vernacular Forms (AAV) of speaking show strong influence from West-African languages. The Oakland school board proposed to the state that the kids learning will be improved with the recognition and understanding of Ebonics. My article came from the internet, and it is titled "A Case of Ebonics." Ebonics is a critical language, with powerful elements of a distinct language, spoken by many Americans of African descent, a language marked by a long and rich history.

While most other languages are restricted to specific geographical regions, Ebonics is a way of speaking shared by a large percentage of African-Americans living everywhere in the United States. Ebonics has been branded as a poor form of Standard English. Some think of it as lazy lips and lazy thinking. Because Ebonics held on to many leftover characteristics from West African languages, there has been debate as to whether it is a language of American English or another language altogether. Ebonics has a long history that began in Africa. It started when people from many different African villages were brought to American slave markets. The slave owners often purposely mixed the slaves by tribe so that they could not communicate directly in the language of a single tribe. For them to communicate with each other, the slaves developed a pidgin language, a mixture of various African languages. Over the centuries, this early pidgin blended with aspects of "Standard English" to form "Black English" but it still has many of the features of its ancestor. That is, many of the unique forms of Ebonics can be identified as leftovers of West African languages. For example some researchers say that the word for cat in...
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