Talkin That Talk: Language, Culture, and Education in African America

By Geneva Smitherman | Go to book overview

16

AFRICAN AMERICANS AND “ENGLISH ONLY” 1

[1992]

Official language smitheried to sanction ignorance and preserve privilege is a suit of armor, polished to shocking glitter, a husk from which the knight departed long ago. Yet there it is; dumb, predatory, sentimental. Exciting reverence in schoolchildren, providing shelter for despots, summoning false memories of stability, harmony among the public.

(Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture and speech of acceptance, 1994)


INTRODUCTION

THE MOVEMENT TO amend the US Constitution and/or pass local laws declaring English the official language of the United States began in 1981 when the late Senator S. I. Hayakawa introduced the English Language Amendment for such a Constitutional change. The effort proved unsuccessful, however. Thus in 1983, Hayakawa founded “US English, ” an organization committed to the establishment, through legislative action (locally for now but ultimately Federally), of English as the sole official language of the US. As of this date, over thirty state legislatures have considered or are considering such legislation, and seventeen states have passed “English-Only” laws, all but four of these since 1984 (Roy, 1991, p. 520).

On its face, what has come to be known as the “English-Only Movement” seems to be innocuous and a natural course of events. That is, since the US is an English-speaking country, it seems only logical that legislation be designed to insure that English is utilized in all social domains. However, there are problematic language policy implications of such legislation on a macro-institutional level, as evidenced in US English’s efforts to repeal “laws mandating multilingual ballots and voting materials” and to restrict “government funding for bilingual education” (Wright, 1983, p. B9). Further, the implementation of such language legislation and its operationalization on the micro-level have resulted in the following adverse situations:

-291-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Talkin That Talk: Language, Culture, and Education in African America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 458

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.