The media frenzy surrounding the 1996 resolution by the Oakland School Board brought public attention to the term "Ebonics", however the idea remains a mystery to most. John Baugh, a well-known African-American linguist and education expert, offers an accessible explanation of the origins of the term, the linguistic reality behind the hype, and the politics behind the outcry on both sides of the debate. Using a non-technical, first-person style, and bringing in many of his own personal experiences, Baugh debunks many commonly-held notions about the way African-Americans speak English, and the result is a nuanced and balanced portrait of a fraught subject. This volume should appeal to students and scholars in anthropology, linguistics, education, urban studies, and African-American studies.
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