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Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English

by John Russell Rickford

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671298,467 (4.3)None
In Praise of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English ""Spoken Soul brilliantly fills a huge gap. . . . a delightfully readable introduction to the elegant interweave between the language and its culture."" –Ralph W. Fasold, Georgetown university ""A lively, well-documented history of Black English . . . that will enlighten and inform not only educators, for whom it should be required reading, but all who value and question language."" –Kirkus Reviews ""Spoken Soul is a must read for anyone who is interested in the connection between language and identity."" –Chicago Defender Claude Brown called Black English ""Spoken Soul."" Toni Morrison said, ""It's a love, a passion. Its function is like a preacher’s: to make you stand out of your seat, make you lose yourself and hear yourself. The worst of all possible things that could happen would be to lose that language."" Now renowned linguist John R. Rickford and journalist Russell J. Rickford provide the definitive guide to African American vernacular English–from its origins and features to its powerful fascination for society at large.… (more)
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Part 1 introduces the purpose of the book. Part 2 discusses the artistic and cultural history of African American vernacular English (AAVE). Part 3 discusses the vocabulary, phonetics and grammar of AAVE. Part 4 explores the political controversy surrounding an initiative to use Ebonics (AAVE) as a teaching tool in Oakland, CA, classrooms in the mid-1990s. Part 5 briefly explains the importance of AAVE to the cultural identities of many African Americans, particularly those in the lower and working classes.

Overall, it was an engaging, enlightening and enjoyable read. Part 3 might be a challenge to readers who haven't ever taken a course in linguistics or grammar. The explanations are really quite good though, so if you've ever studies another language I think you'll be able to understand most of what's discussed. ( )
  thewalkinggirl | Oct 7, 2010 |
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In Praise of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English ""Spoken Soul brilliantly fills a huge gap. . . . a delightfully readable introduction to the elegant interweave between the language and its culture."" –Ralph W. Fasold, Georgetown university ""A lively, well-documented history of Black English . . . that will enlighten and inform not only educators, for whom it should be required reading, but all who value and question language."" –Kirkus Reviews ""Spoken Soul is a must read for anyone who is interested in the connection between language and identity."" –Chicago Defender Claude Brown called Black English ""Spoken Soul."" Toni Morrison said, ""It's a love, a passion. Its function is like a preacher’s: to make you stand out of your seat, make you lose yourself and hear yourself. The worst of all possible things that could happen would be to lose that language."" Now renowned linguist John R. Rickford and journalist Russell J. Rickford provide the definitive guide to African American vernacular English–from its origins and features to its powerful fascination for society at large.

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