Beyond Ebonics: Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice

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Overview

The decision by the Oakland, California school board to declare "Ebonics" the official language of their African American students unleashed a firestorm of controversy with overtly racial overtones. While the vast majority of linguists were caught off guard by these events, equivocating over technical distinctions between a language and a dialect, journalists, legislators, and the public demanded to know more about Ebonics and the controversial claims being asserted by its proponents. In Beyond Ebonics, John Baugh sifts through the volatile circumstances and evidence that triggered this debate and provides detailed comparisons of the notorious resolutions that brought it to global attention. This highly accessible book avoids technical linguistic jargon as it traces Ebonics from its obscure origin through its eventual public demise, considering a host of legal, educational, and theoretical issues that still linger today. Baugh's investigation exposes flaws in competing definitions of Ebonics, as well as racial tensions that flared throughout the controversy. This thorough depiction of Ebonics dispels linguistic myths with previously untold facts that will be of considerable interest to linguists, educators, scholars, and legislators.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A lucid new study of...perhaps the most strident linguistic controversy in recent memory."--The New Yorker

"John Baugh's recent book is arguably the most clearly articulated and detailed account of the controversy that surrounded the Oakland Unified School District's policy decision in December, 1996, and his book suggests why these issues will continue to be at the forefront of language education in the United States."--CRecord.org

"A valuable contribution to the background of the Ebonics debate...a book written from both a personal standpoint as an African American and a professional one as a sociolinguist."--English Language

"Recommended for all collections."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195120462
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Pages: 176
  • Lexile: 1550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Baugh is Professor of Education and Linguistics at Stanford University. He has also served as President of the American Dialect Society.

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Table of Contents

1 Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice 1
2 Ebonic Genesis 15
3 A Contentious Global Debut 25
4 Oakland's Ebonics Resolutions 37
5 Legislative Lament 49
6 Legal Implications 63
7 Disparate Theoretical Foundations 73
8 Racist Reactions and Ebonics Satire 87
9 Beyond Ebonics: Striving toward Enhanced Linguistic Tolerance 101
Appendixes
A. Linguistic Society of America Resolution on the Oakland "Ebonics" Issue 117
B. Texas 75th Legislature, Regular Session: House Resolution 28 119
C. California 1997-98 Regular Session: Senate Bill 205 121
References 133
Index 139
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