Geneva Smitherman

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Geneva Smitherman is a Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the African American Language and Literacy Program at Michigan State University.[1]

She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English and Latin from Wayne State University and a Ph.D in English, with a specialization in sociolinguistics and education, from the University of Michigan.[2]

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • Educational Press Association Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism for her English Journal column, "Soul N Style"
  • 1999 CCCC Exemplar Award
  • 2001 NCTE David H. Russell Research Award for Talkin That Talk: Language, Culture and Education in African America
  • 2005, NCTE James R. Squire Award (only the tenth recipient of this Award, established in 1967 to recognize a scholar who has had a “transforming influence” and has made a “lasting intellectual contribution” to the field of English Studies)


  • Word from the Mother: Language and African Americans (2006)
  • Black Linguistics: Language, Society and Politics in Africa and the Americas (co-editor, 2003)
  • "Language and Democracy in the United States of America and South Africa", in Language and Institutions in Africa (eds., Makoni and Kamwangamalu, 2001)
  • Talkin That Talk: Language, Culture and Education in African America (2000)
  • Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner (1994, 2000)
  • "CCCC’s Role in the Struggle for Language Rights", College Composition and Communication (February, 1999)
  • Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America (1977, 1986)


External links[edit]