Black RNC chair told, "You be da man!"

i can't stand it when white people change their vernacular and inflection when talking to black people. "you go, girl!" "all right, miss thing!" "you weren't in yesterday; were you 'chilling out' at home?" "this is my main man right here." inflection is often stressed on the bold words, which lets you know that this isn't language that they normally use.

last night on Idol, the new judge referred to the black wild card woman as "girl" when praising her. she didn't use that term or change her inflection when talking to the white girls/women. randy calls everybody dude, the males and females alike. the girl remark was different and something that i've experienced and witness.

particularly if you are a nonblack person who does this only when talking to black people ... stop. it's annoying and presumptuous and belittling, and you will be talked about.
Originally Posted by rainshower

OMG!!! You just read my mind!
I used ebonics because that's the common term that most people know (i has to look up AAVE to be honest the first time u used it...lol). And you're right...it IS the native dialect of a lot of white people...that's why for those that it is....it doesn't sound all fake. I'm curious though...are there certain parts of the country that this is more common in? You seem to be well versed in this topic so I thought I'd ask.
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown
LOL, I had no idea this thread got moved here!

Basically, non-Black people are more likely to speak AAVE if they frequently interact with African Americans, and if those African Americans frequently speak in AAVE to non-Black people. I don't know which specific parts of the country that would be.

Anyway, I wouldn't say that I'm "well versed" in this topic. After all, it's not a dialect that I can speak. Most of what I know comes from the book Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English. The book covers the history and development of AAVE; its sounds/accent, syntax, and vocabulary; its stigmatized status and the Oakland Unified School District controversy; rhetorical styles that use AAVE, from preaching to rap; and the reproduction of AAVE in various media.

The authors' overall argument is that, while it's important to be able to speak and write in Standard American English (SAE), you can't get African American children to learn SAE by telling them that their native dialect is "lazy" or "bad" English. Therefore, teachers should be well versed in AAVE, and use it as a starting point for teaching SAE. This is what the Oakland Unified School District proposed, but it turned into a massive controversy because of the stigma against AAVE and the accompanying racism.

The book is a little controversial, because its authors argue that AAVE is a distinct language, rather than a dialect of English. In order to support this idea, they attribute some features of AAVE to African languages, when those features could also have come from British English dialects. However, while saying that AAVE is a distinct language is not the mainstream appraisal, it's not unfounded or "out there."

Anyway, there's information on Spoken Soul, and excerpts from it, all over the internet. You can google it if you want to know more about it.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 03-30-2009 at 05:30 PM.

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