Cosby's Ebonics

Topics: Black people, African American, United Kingdom Pages: 3 (1036 words) Published: May 16, 2005
Cosby on Ebonics
In 1996, the Oakland School District proposed the inclusion of what is known as "Ebonics" into its curriculum. Ebonics, or Black language, has been referred to in various ways over the years: "African American Vernacular English," "Pan-African Communication Behaviors," "African Language Systems," or "West and Niger-Congo African Language Systems." By any name, Ebonics, when studied over the years, has been proven to be a real language with its own phonology, syntax, morphology, sentence patterns, and double interpretations of words. The pattern that Ebonics speakers in the United States speak is highly similar to the patterns seen in both the Caribbean Creole and the West African languages. No one would have thought that comedian Bill Cosby would have an opinion on this subject, but as I read through essay I realized the logic and validity behind his paper. In his essay Bill Cosby states that, "Ebonics be a complex issue," and it is, also he feels that it should not be taught in schools without studying the problems that could grow from teaching "an urbanized version of the English language." Cosby has a PhD in education, which increases his credibility. Cosby, being a black man, should not affect how his essay is read but it may be an issue to some. His use of humor makes the subject easier to comprehend and the entire piece more interesting. There is always a serious way and a lighter way to address any problem that affects many people and Cosby's choice to use humor makes more sense considering who he is in the public eye. Ebonics is a difficult issue to deal with, and Cosby makes a valid point that it should not be taught in school. Cosby's credibility is not weakened because of his PhD in education if nothing else it is heightened. Being that he has this degree, he is more likely to obtain all the facts before forming a strong opinion on the subject. Having to teach Ebonics to anyone and everyone would be a problem and some people may not...
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