Understanding the ‘cultural not remedial’ aspect of Black Vernacular English

“Why don’t you hand in papers in Ebonics since that is how you talk?”

I remember someone asking me this in my early days of grad school. I then explained that, as a student, it was my job to perform particular scholastic duties – including showing a mastery of the traditional APA, MLA, and Chicago Turabian styles of writing.

However, I told him that I use my native tongue – manifested from my years in Oakland, Calif, raised on the music of E-40, Keak Da Sneak and Tony! Toni! Toné!, and on the slang stylings of radio DJs like KMEL’s Chuy Gomez and Sway – in the classroom when I speak because I have no problem being who I am in that space.

But his question made me think about the ways that our use of regional tongues of Black Vernacular English (sometimes referred to as African-American Vernacular English, AAVE, or BVE) is often judged unnecessarily. Not only that, our decisions to use them in particular settings rather than others is often questioned as inauthenticity.

This New Book Delivery Service Sends Black Brilliance Right To Your Doorstep

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to read a book a week or once per month. And, if you are anything like me, you want those books to come from Black authors. Now, a company called Noir Reads is making meeting those goals all the more possible by delivering books from the Black Diaspora to subscribers for a small monthly or quarterly fee.

‘Hidden Figures’ Represents Black Women’s Continued Quest For Dignity and Recognition

I remember the first time I had my intelligence questioned by a peer like it was yesterday; I had just won the regional spelling bee when a classmate, a non-Black person of color, started a rumor that my accomplishments were simply a result of me smoking marijuana.

I was 14, and had never smoked a day in my life.

N.J. Girl’s Basketball Team Targeted With Lynched Dummy Before Game

A girl’s basketball team from Plainfield High School in New Jersey was welcomed to a school they’d be playing against with a black dummy with a string tied around its neck and a basketball at the end of it.

While changing in a classroom at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, New Jersey on Saturday morning, the team noticed the dummy which also had bulging eyes and its mouth appeared to be open as if it were gasping for air. 

Why I can’t hold onto the gospel of Pastor Kim Burrell

By: Kelvin L. Easiley, Jr.

Where does one seek solace when faith fails? Where do the lost find shelter when the leaders that claim to love them preach “death and hell fire” for the simple act of existing? When the music that once soothed and brought peace only sounds like a cacophony of chaos and the choir’s chorus rings a melody that you and your kind are not welcome?

This past week, two major influencers in gospel music openly spat venomous vitriol from the pulpit to the raucous amens from their respective audiences.

Chicago Officer Shoots Unarmed Man, Gets Stripped Of Powers

If this headline sounds familiar, you’re not mistaken. This isn’t the first time that a Chicago Police Department officer has shot an unarmed citizen and been disciplined as an investigation is conducted.

The latest officer to lost their police powers is the result of a fatal shooting on the city’s Northwest side on Monday. 

Tyler Perry Says “Reverse Racism” Is Real And Lee Daniels Wants Black Hollywood To “Stop Complaining”

Just a couple of weeks after Denzel Washington threw down the gauntlet of controversial responses to #OscarsSoWhite and later made controversial comments on the topic of colorism, two more titans of black Hollywood have seemingly accepted the challenge to outdo him. 

10 Reasons Why We Are Glad To See 2016 Go

Only one more day is left on the 2016 calendar, and it seems as though the world couldn’t be happier about it. From natural disasters to the election of Donald Trump to an overwhelming deluge of celebrity deaths, the past year has been quite the newsmaker with an abundance of poignant lows and only a smattering of profound highs (which is partially why it was so difficult to select only ten events to discuss.)

Why I don’t want another Black president

In less than a month, the first Black president of the United States will complete his final term. Undoubtedly, these past eight years under President Barack Obama provided a very powerful sense of representation to Black people who have survived over four centuries of violent dispossession largely in society’s shadows. With Obama occupying the highest office in the land, Black folks were able to forge important symbols of Black love, Black family, Black resilience, and Black success from which no one in the world could turn away—until now. Under the coming President Trump, Black communities will certainly be pushed farther into the dark once again.

This is what happens when political resistance goes digital

By: Imani J. Jackson

To many millennials’ chagrin and not of our own doing, American capitalism continues to operate despite its negative impact on Black and Brown communities. Confronted with this economic system and sustained government violence against Black and Brown people, activists are increasingly combining traditional civil rights tactics, like protests and economic boycotts, with digital resistance.