This essay Ebonics has a total of 3632 words and 20 pages.
This is an English exam paper prepared for the EVU2-EDB course at
Niuernermik Ilinniarfik, Nuuk.
The main topic of this paper is the USA, and I have chosen to concentrate on a
fairly new issue, the language know as Ebonics. There have always been changes
in the English language. This is how the language came about and evolved from
standard British English to American English.
During the last few years, as the world has become more sensitive to the rights
of minorities, women, animals, etc. a new form of changes has taken place. These
changes have become known as Political Correctness.
Ebonics is the political correct version of Afro-American English. I intend to
show that and comment on how racialism and competition affects a society and
how this, in the case of Ebonics, is actually happening in today's America.
Nuuk February 1997 Ral Fleischer
THE QUESTIONS ASKED I will attempt to answer the following questions about
Ebonics; - what is Ebonics? - what are the underlying reasons behind Ebonics? -
who is prospering from Ebonics?
What is Ebonics? Most people outside of America have at most but a vague idea of
what Ebonics is all about. Apart from being a buzzword in American media since
December 1996 what are the fundamental concepts behind this expression? Where,
how and when did it start, and who started it?
What are the underlying reasons behind Ebonics? To fully understand Ebonics,
some historical background is needed. One has to have some knowledge on how the
English language has developed in America. Furthermore one has to be aware how
the American society is loaded down with the influence of stereotypical thinking,
racialism and competition. In his autobiography, the famous black spokesman,
Minister Malcolm X, portrays the undisguised hostility that exists between white
and black people in America. He illustrates this conflict with the following
words: " You cannot find one black man, I do not care who he is, who has not
been personally damaged in some way by the devilish acts of the white man!.
The greatest miracle in America is that the black has not grown
violent they would have been justified by all moral criteria, and even by the
democratic tradition" (The Autobiography of Malcolm X, page 371 & 349)
Is Ebonics simply the democratic consequence, a black non-violent upraise
against the "devilish acts of the white man" as as foreseen by Malcolm X?
Who is prospering from Ebonics? What advantages is meant to be attained and
for whom with Ebonics?
DESCRIPTION OF THE MATERIAL Although the introduction of Ebonics has excited
more debate than almost any other philosophical issue in recent years, only a
very small amount of written material apart from newspaper articles about
this subject has reached Greenland so far. This, because Ebonics is a rather new
and first and foremost an all American phenomenon.
Newspaper Articles The majority of the material collected for this paper
consists consequently of various newspaper articles. I was able to follow the
discussion about Ebonics in the American newspaper 'the Washington Post' via the
Internet and have as a result chosen the following articles as the basis of my
inquiry into the matter of Ebonics: - Ebonics: A Way to Close the Learning Gap?
- Among Linguists, Black English Gets Respect - Ebonics Debate Comes to Capitol
Magazine Articles All of the above listed articles are from the Washington Post.
I also managed to find a few articles in 'Time Magazine' and 'Newsweek' from
which I chose: - Hooked on Ebonics The contents of these articles have given me
an impression of how the American public "officially" interpret the concept of
Internet Web-sites Furthermore two Internet web-sites (computerised electronic
billboards) have been of incredible help, the first by providing me with the
original 'Declaration of Ebonics', the other by broadening my understanding of
the fundamental concepts of Ebonics together with giving the viewpoint on the
subject by a common American. These two Internet web-sites are: - Oakland
Unified School District Web Page - EBONICS Pseudo-Intellectualism for the masses
Interview An interview was performed via the Internet Chess-server "Caissa.com"
in the form of a correspondence with my good friend edfdo from New York. A
discussion about chess-ratings ended up becoming a cursory go trough on various
different subjects, in which edfdo revealed his very own personal reaction
Books Finally the following books have been of use: - Two Nations, Black and
White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal - The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Race,
Culture and Intelligence
The first two by giving an insight
Topics Related to Ebonics
African American Vernacular English, Ebonics, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Ebonics resolution, English as a second or foreign language
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