Black English: A Seminar

Black English: A Seminar

Black English: A Seminar

Black English: A Seminar

Excerpt

Seminars are usually on subjects that have not been well studied, and the idea is that all the participants advance in knowledge by pooling their resources to develop a subject. To organize a seminar, one usually first notes what information is available in published form (books, articles, preprints, talks, conferences etc.), contacts and draws up lists of resource persons ("experts" who have first-hand experience or are involved in the subject), lists tentative topics for presentation and discussion, assigns these to seminar leaders, adds new topics at their suggestion, and then lets the seminar run its course with readings, presentations and discussion. Seminars seldom turn out as anticipated. If one is fortunate, they take on a life of their own, evolve, grow, and expand in ways that enrich those participating in the group. From this, a new knowledge base emerges.

The organization and much of the material presented in what follows grew out of the seminar of the Fall Semester in 1973. Of course, the individual writers were responsible for the content then, but their ideas have evolved since that time and the present themes reflect what resulted from the bringing together of the students and resource people.

We have divided the chapters into four groups. Each group focuses on a different aspect of Black English: on its definition, on its historical origins, on its usage, and on its implications. The parts are not mutually exclusive but neither are they redundant.

They are not as complete or comprehensive as one would like for the treatment of so rich a subject. We hope, however, that the result serves as an introduction and guide to further study.

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