Home Page

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hooked on Phonics: The Black Edition

I must give thanks to the Booker Rising and Nykola.com blogs, respectively for bringing this story to my attention. I'm pretty sure that many of you are familiar with the 1996 Oakland (CA) initiative, which was put forward by a contingent of local educators that attempted to legitimize Ebonics. Thankfully, there appears to be at least one individual who is combating the absurdity of Ebonics-enter Garrard McClendon. The above snippet is from a Fox news report highlighting McClendon's personal efforts to help acclimate Black youth to the virtues of speaking (standard) English. McClendon's crusade is perhaps best encapsulated in his book, Ax or Ask? The African American Guide to Better English.

In my estimation, there needs to be a clear distinction made between the usage of slang and what is considered Black English. Unfortunately, both types of vernacular translate poorly when one is attempting to seek gainful employment or move up the corporate ladder. It is imperative that African-Americans employ a duality of speech, not unlike our bilingual counterparts from foreign nation-states. I'm sure some of our readers may interpret my diatribe as capitulating to a White corporate power structure mindset. This is just not accurate. Whether African-Americans want to admit it or not, we are just as American as any person of European extraction-we have been in the Americas for well over three centuries. There is absolutely no reason for people of color to not have a command of the english language when there have been other individuals who have been in the US for a shorter period and are able to speak properly. No excuses folks. For more info regarding McClendon's efforts, check the link below:

McClendon report

No comments: