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.

Black History in 2016…on the Negro National Anthem, Kaepernick, Violence, and President-Elect Trump

What is my nation?

When Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the national anthem earlier this year, I imagine this question weighed heavily on his mind as well. I imagine he considered how Black people in America were dragged, kicking and screaming, some jumping overboard to certain death rather than facing a future of slavery, into this land which was not ours by people to whom it did not belong either. I imagine he knew—like I know—that we are nationless, and have been for hundreds of years.

And for hundreds of years we have been expected to sing the praises of the country which enslaved us, lynched us, shot our 7 year old sisters dead in their beds without consequence, and has now elected a racist, sexist demagogue president who has promised only more of this.

Black Hollywood Wants Black Voters To Go To The Polls Today

Every now and again Black stars use their star power to make a statement about the political conditions in America. We recently saw it with Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Chance the Rapper endorsing Hillary Clinton for president at mass concerts in Cleveland and Chicago. Similarly, this star-studded PSA includes folx like Cedric the Entertainer, Meagan Good, Chris Spencer, Tisha Campbell-Martin and many others who want to emphasize the importance of voting in this year’s general election, specifically where Black voters are concerned.

Study Shows Young People Of Color Remain Optimistic About Their Future, But It’s Time Black Folks Consider Pessimism

I have always considered myself an optimist. This may come as a surprise to those who have heard me argue, sincerely, that “everything is anti-Black,” or who experience my total lack of faith in the idea of reform, or who witness me supporting unapologetic non-participation in the electoral system, having long lost confidence that it should be the primary vehicle for Black liberation.

Richard Sherman Changes Tune, Is Fed Up With ‘The State Of Things’ Facing Blacks

Richard Sherman rose in prominence a few years ago when his emotional response after a game garnered a slew of racist responses. At that time, he told the world that using the word “thug” in reference to Black people was just another way of calling them the “n-word.” Since then, he participating in what looked like an “all lives matter” demonstration with his Seahawks teammates and coaches. But, now, he seems to have moved back to his original position.

A new survey of young people finds growing support for Black Lives Matter and trans rights

By: Fusion

According to the GenForward survey, released today by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, young Americans are increasingly supportive of two major progressive causes: the Black Lives Matter movement and transgender people being able to use the bathroom of their gender identity.

It matters that people are afraid to travel in the US due to police violence

Yesterday, my partner and I planned a day trip. We were thinking about just getting away from it all after a tough week of violence against Black people and the racist mainstream news cycle to accompany it. We looked up some spots that were within an hour driving distance from Chicago, thinking this might be a good opportunity to let the kids experience something new. Then, we remembered that we are Black and we are unsafe everywhere.

Buzzfeed’s ‘Questions Black People Have For Black People’ Video Backfires

Buzzfeed has revolutionized the online publishing industry in recent years. One of the many ways they’ve done so has been through their personality-filled videos that feature staff members either acting out relatable scenarios or asking thought-provoking questions. Their latest attempt to do so has seemingly backfired and brought on the wrath of Twitter users everywhere.

Nixon Aide Admits The ‘War On Drugs’ Was Designed To Target Black People

In the art of debate, there’s only one result that feels better than an outright win – the long-delayed “I told you so.” Today, many people that have theorized that the “war on drugs” was designed specifically to target people of color appear to have their “I told you so” moment.

In a 1994 interview with journalist Dan Baum, former domestic policy chief for President Richard Nixon, John Ehrlichman, spoke candidly about the true intentions behind the former president’s war on drugs, according to the Huffington Post.