Tuesday, July 19, 2005
When I was a high schooler, they taught ebonics too. It was called English- we read poems from Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and I swear we read some Gwendolyn Brooks(or I don't know. I don't remember where I had seen that poem before). All of these works were mostly in, and celebrated black dialects. I can speak white English and in fact write and talk in it mostly. Also, one common criticism is that people will be at a disadvantage in the workplace if they use ebonics, but the thing is- it's not because of AAVE, it's about people's perceptions. If people changed their views so that more than one way of speaking was considered acceptable,then there wouldn't be a problem. For example, I went to England and the English people spoke differently than me. Instead of labeling their way of speaking 'stupid', I simply said "hey, they speak differently". That's called learning to deal with difference. The way you do things isn't the only correct way to do it, it's just one way. That's an important skill that many people are lacking, and it is costing them time and money.