African-American Vernacular English and education
African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) has been the center of controversy about the education of African-American youths, the role AAVE should play in public schools and education, and its place in broader society.
By definition, as a vernacular dialect of English, AAVE has never received the social prestige of a standard dialect, leading to widespread and long-standing misconceptions that it is a grammatically inferior form of English, which linguistics research of the twentieth century has soundly refuted. However, educators and social commentators traditionally have advocated for eliminating AAVE usage through the public-education system for a variety of reasons, ranging from a continued belief that AAVE is intrinsically deficient to arguments that its use, by being stigmatized in certain social contexts, is socially limiting. Some of the harshest criticism of AAVE or its use has come from African Americans themselves. A conspicuous example was the "Pound Cake speech", in which Bill Cosby criticized some African Americans for various social behaviors, including the way they talked.
Faced with such attitudes, the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), a division of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), issued a position statement on students' rights to their own language. This was adopted by CCCC members in April 1974 and appeared in a special issue of College Composition and Communication in Fall of 1974. The resolution was as follows:
We affirm the students' right to their own patterns and varieties of language—the dialects of their nurture or whatever dialects in which they find their own identity and style. Language scholars long ago denied that the myth of a standard American dialect has any validity. The claim that any one dialect is unacceptable amounts to an attempt of one social group to exert its dominance over another. Such a claim leads to false advice for speakers and writers and immoral advice for humans. A nation proud of its diverse heritage and its cultural and racial variety will preserve its heritage of dialects. We affirm strongly that teachers must have the experiences and training that will enable them to respect diversity and uphold the right of students to their own language.
Around this time, pedagogical techniques similar to those used to teach English to speakers of foreign languages were shown to hold promise for speakers of AAVE. William Stewart experimented with the use of dialect readers—sets of text in both AAVE and standard English. The idea was that children could learn to read in their own dialect and then shift to "Standard English" with subsequent textbooks. Simpkins, Holt & Simpkins (1977) developed a comprehensive set of dialect readers, called bridge readers, which included the same content in three different dialects: AAVE, a "bridge" version that was closer to "Standard American English" without being prohibitively formal, and a Standard English version. Despite studies that showed promise for such "Standard English as a Second Dialect" (SESD) programs, reaction to them was largely hostile and both Stewart's research and the Bridge Program were rejected for various political and social reasons, including strong resistance from parents.
A more formal shift in the recognition of AAVE came in the "Ann Arbor Decision" of 1979 (Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School Children et al., v. Ann Arbor School District). In it, a federal judge of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that in teaching black children to read, a school board must adjust to the children's dialect, not the children to the school, and that, by not taking students' language into consideration, teachers were contributing to the failure of such students to read and use mainstream English proficiently.
National attitudes towards AAVE were revisited when a controversial resolution from the Oakland (California) school board (Oakland Unified School District) on December 18, 1996, called for "Ebonics" to be recognized as a language of African Americans. In fact, ebonics would be classified as a "second language". The proposal was to implement a program similar to the Language Development Program for African American Students (LDPAAS) in Los Angeles, which began in 1988 and uses methods from the SESD programs mentioned above.
Like other similar programs, the Oakland resolution was widely misunderstood as intended to teach AAVE and "elevate it to the status of a written language." It gained national attention and was derided and criticized, most notably by Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume who regarded it as an attempt to teach slang to children. The statement that "African Language Systems are genetically based" also contributed to the negative reaction because "genetically" was popularly misunderstood to imply that African Americans had a biological predisposition to a particular language. In an amended resolution, this phrase was removed and replaced with wording that states African American language systems "have origins in West [sic] and Niger–Congo languages and are not merely dialects of English. . . ."
The Oakland proposal was explained as follows: that black students would perform better in school and more easily learn standard American English if textbooks and teachers incorporated AAVE in teaching black children to speak Standard English rather than mistakenly equating nonstandard with substandard and dismissing AAVE as the latter. Baratz & Shuy (1969:93) point to these linguistic barriers, and common reactions by teachers, as a primary cause of reading difficulties and poor school performance.
More recently, research has been conducted on the overrepresentation of African Americans in special education Van Keulen, Weddington & DeBose (1998:112–113) harvcoltxt error: no target: CITEREFVan_KeulenWeddingtonDeBose1998 (help) argue that this is because AAVE speech characteristics are often erroneously considered to be signs of speech development problems, prompting teachers to refer children to speech pathologists.
According to Smitherman, the controversy and debates concerning AAVE in public schools imply deeper deterministic attitudes towards the African-American community as a whole. Smitherman describes this as a reflection of the "power elite's perceived insignificance and hence rejection of Afro-American language and culture". She also asserts that African Americans are forced to conform to European American society in order to succeed, and that conformity ultimately means the "eradication of black language . . . and the adoption of the linguistic norms of the white middle class." The necessity for "bi-dialectialism" (AAVE and General American) means "some blacks contend that being bi-dialectal not only causes a schism in the black personality, but it also implies such dialects are 'good enough' for blacks but not for whites."
Ann Arbor decision
The case of Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School Children et al. v. Ann Arbor School District, known as the Ann Arbor Decision, is considered to have established an important precedent in the education of poor African American students who are Black English speakers.
The case was decided on July 12, 1979, by Judge Charles W. Joiner on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The suit was brought on behalf of poor black students at the school. Gabe Kaimowitz, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs, alleged that the students were denied equal protection of the laws, because applicable Michigan regulations did not recognize social, economic and cultural factors differing those pupils from others. Black middle class students at the school were not represented among the plaintiffs. Judge Joiner in 1977 and 1978 rejected five of the six claims. The sixth claim asserted that the Ann Arbor School District violated federal statutory law because it failed to take into account the home language of the children in the provision of education instruction. The court agreed. The judge ordered the school district to find a way to identify Black English speakers in the schools and to "use that knowledge in teaching such students how to read standard English".
Cases that led to the Ann Arbor Decision
In 1954, most of the United States had racially segregated schools, which was made legal by the Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896. In the case it held that segregated public schools were constitutional as long as the black and white children in the schools were equal. Throughout the middle of the twentieth century many civil rights groups and leaders challenged the school board's racial segregation through legal and political action. One of the actions, Brown v. Board of Education was filed, and is an important and significant case, which ultimately led up to the Ann Arbor Decision. The Brown v. Board of Education case was filed against Topeka and it went over how it violated the 14th amendment. The case paved the way for integration in many public schools across the United States, but black students still faced many problems as stated in the Ann Arbor Decision.
Oakland Ebonics resolution
On December 18, 1996, the Oakland Unified School District in California passed a controversial resolution recognizing the legitimacy of Ebonics – what mainstream linguists more commonly term African American English (AAE) – as an African language. The resolution set off a firestorm of media criticism and ignited a national debate.
For students whose primary language was Ebonics, the Oakland resolution mandated some instruction in this, both for "maintaining the legitimacy and richness of such language ... and to facilitate their acquisition and mastery of English language skills." This also included the proposed increase of salaries of those proficient in both Ebonics and Standard English to the level of those teaching limited English proficiency (LEP) students and the use of public funding to help teachers learn AAE themselves.
Some interpretations of the controversial issues in the resolution include the idea that Ebonics is not a vernacular or dialect of English, that it is a separate language; a member of an African language family;[clarification needed] that African Americans particular language and their dialects; that speakers of Ebonics should qualify for federally funded programs traditionally restricted to bilingual populations; and that students would be taught American Standard English via Ebonics. The Rev. Jesse Jackson criticized the resolution, saying "I understand the attempt to reach out to these children, but this is an unacceptable surrender, borderlining on disgrace." His comments were seconded by former Secretary of Education William Bennett, former New York governor Mario Cuomo, and Senator Joe Lieberman. Jackson would later reverse his position, attributing his initial opposition to a misunderstanding of the school district's proposal. He said, "They're not trying to teach Black English as a standard language. They're looking for tools to teach children standard English so they might be competitive."
The original resolution caused a great deal of consternation and anger, which fueled the controversy. On January 15, 1997, Oakland's school board passed an amended resolution. The original resolution used the phrase "genetically based" which was commonly understood to mean that African Americans have a biological predisposition to a particular language, while the authors of the resolution insisted that it was referring to linguistic genetics. This phrase was removed in the amended resolution and replaced with the statement that African American language systems "have origins in West and Niger-Congo languages and are not merely dialects of English."
Some linguists and associated organizations issued statements in support of recognizing the legitimacy of African American English as a language system:
The systematic and expressive nature of the grammar and pronunciation patterns of the African American vernacular has been established by numerous scientific studies over the past thirty years. Characterizations of Ebonics as "slang," "mutant," "lazy," "defective," "ungrammatical," or "broken English" are incorrect and demeaning. . . . There is evidence from Sweden, the US, and other countries that speakers of other varieties can be aided in their learning of the standard variety by pedagogical approaches which recognize the legitimacy of the other varieties of a language. From this perspective, the Oakland School Board's decision to recognize the vernacular of African American students in teaching them Standard English is linguistically and pedagogically sound.
Research and experience have shown that children learn best if teachers respect the home language and use it as a bridge in teaching the language of the school and wider society.
Walt Wolfram, a linguist at North Carolina State University, wrote that this controversy exposed the intensity of people's beliefs and opinions about language and language diversity, the persistent and widespread level of public misinformation about the issues of language variation and education, and the need for informed knowledge about language diversity and its role in education and in public life.
However, in response to the amended resolution claiming that African American language systems "are not merely dialects of English", there have been some statements in opposition from linguists, since linguists do primarily regard African-American English as a dialect or variety of English.
- African American Vernacular English
- Lau v. Nichols - This 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision established the right of language-minority students to educational accommodations.
- Bilingual education
- Bilingual Education Act
- Castañeda v. Pickard
- Green (2002), pp. 217–218.
- Wardhaugh (2002), pp. 343–348.
- Lippi-Green (2000), p. 200. sfnp error: no target: CITEREFLippi-Green2000 (help)
- Lanehart (2001), p. 6.
- "Black critics [of Black English] use all the different arguments of the white critics, and spare us the more or less open embarrassment that all white Americans feel when publicly criticizing anything or anyone Black. So, of course, they can be even more wrong-headed and self-righteously wrong-headed than anyone else . . ." Quinn (1982:150–51).
- Smitherman (1999), p. 357.
- Stewart (1975), p. 117-120.
- Wardhaugh (2002), p. 345.
- Simpkins, Holt & Simpkins (1977), p. ??.
- Morgan (1999), p. 181.
- Downing (1978), p. 341.
- Morgan (1999), p. 182.
- Green (2002), p. 123, 222.
- Coulmas (2005), p. 213.
- WOO, ELAINE; Curtius, Mary (December 20, 1996). "Oakland School District Recognizes Black English". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- ""Black English" Named Second Language". December 20, 1996. Archived from the original on December 22, 1996. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
- Morgan (1999), pp. 184–185.
- Green (2002), pp. 230, 232.
- Coulmas (2005), p. 214.
- Morgan (1999), p. 173.
- Wolfram (1998), p. 114.
- Golden (1997), p. ?.
- Green (2002), p. 123.
- Nonstandard language is not the same as substandard, as explained for example by the cognitive scientist Steven Pinker in The Language Instinct pp. 28 et seq. (Pinker's comments on dialects in general and AAVE in particular go unmentioned by Geoffrey Sampson in Educating Eve, a book-length attempted debunking of The Language Instinct.) The same point is made in various introductions to language and sociolinguistics, e.g. Radford et al. (1999:17) and Schilling-Estes (2006:312) et seq.; and also in surveys of the English language, e.g. Crystal (2003), sec. 20, "Linguistic Variation".
- Cited in Green (2002:229)
- .Green (2002:227), citing Artiles & Trent (1994) and Harry & Anderson (1995)
- Cited in Green (2002:227)
- Smitherman (1977), p. 209.
- Smitherman (1977), p. 173.
- Flood, J., Jensen, J., Lapp, D., Squire, J. (1991). Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- "The Supreme Court . Expanding Civil Rights . Landmark Cases . Brown v. Board of Education (1954) | PBS". www.thirteen.org. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- "Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- Morgan (1999:173)
- Wolfram (1998:?)
- Lewis (1996)
- Davidson, Ros (December 31, 1996). "Jackson Supports Oakland Ebonics; In Reverse, He Says School Board Action was Misunderstood". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Reuters News Service. p. A-5. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Golden (1997)
- Resolution On The Oakland "Ebonics" Issue Unanimously Adopted at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Chicago, Illinois January 3, 1997
- Policy Statement of the TESOL Board on African American Vernacular English
- Wolfram (1998:109)
- Golden (1997)
- Smith & Crozier (1998:113–114)
- Wardhaugh (2002:341)
- Poplack, Shana (2000), The English History of African American English, Blackwell
- Poplack, Shana; Tagliamonte, Sali (2001), African American English in the Diaspora, Blackwell
- McWhorter, John H. (2001). Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of a "Pure" Standard English. Basic Books. p. 162. ISBN 9780738204468.
- Artiles, Alfredo J.; Trent, Stanley C. (1994), "Overrepresentation of minority students in special education: a continuing debate", The Journal of Special Education, 24: 410–437, doi:10.1177/002246699402700404, S2CID 146535428
- Bailey, Guy (2001), "The relationship between African American Vernacular English and White Vernaculars in the American South: A sociocultural history and some phonological evidence", in Lanehart, Sonja (ed.), Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English, Varieties of English Around the World, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 53–92
- Bailey, Guy; Thomas, Erik (1998), "Some aspects of African-American Vernacular English phonology", in Mufwene, Salikoko; Rickford, John R.; Bailey, Guy; Baugh, John (eds.), African-American English: Structure, History, and Use, London: Routledge, pp. 85–109
- Baker, Houston A., Jr. (1984), Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: a Vernacular Theory, University of Chicago Press
- Baratz, Joan C.; Shuy, Roger, eds. (1969), Teaching Black Children to Read, Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics
- Baugh, John (2000), Beyond Ebonics: Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-515289-1
- Blake, René; Shousterman, Cara; Newlin-Łukowicz, Luiza (2015), "African American Language in New York City", in Lanehart, Sonja (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of African American Language, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 280–298
- Brasch, Walter (1981), Black English in the Mass Media, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press
- Burling, Robbins (1973), English in Black and White, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.
- Chesley, Paula (December 2011). "You Know What It Is: Learning Words through Listening to Hip-Hop". PLOS ONE. 6 (12): e28248. Bibcode:2011PLoSO...628248C. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028248. PMC 3244393. PMID 22205942.
- Cosby, William (January 10, 1997), "Elements of Igno-Ebonics Style", Wall Street Journal, pp. P.A11
- Coulmas, Florian (2005), Sociolinguistics: The Study of Speakers' Choices, Cambridge
- Crystal, David (2003), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-82348-X
- Cutler, Cecelia (2007). "The Co-Construction of Whiteness in an MC Battle". Pragmatics. 17 (1): 9–22. doi:10.1075/prag.17.1.01cut.
- DeBose, Charles (1992), "Codeswitching: Black English and Standard English in the African-American linguistic repertoire", in Eastman, Carol M. (ed.), Codeswitching, Multilingual Matters LTD, pp. 157–167, ISBN 978-1-85359-167-9
- DeBose, Charles; Faraclas, Nicholas (1993), "An Africanist approach to the linguistic study of black English: getting to the roots of tense-aspect-modality and copula systems in Afro-American", in Mufwene, Salikoko S. (ed.), Africanisms in Afro-American Language Varieties, Athens, GA: University of Georgia press, pp. 364–387
- Dictionary of American Regional English. 5 vols. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985–.
- Dillard, John L. (1972), Black English: Its History and Usage in the United States, Random House, ISBN 0-394-71872-0
- Dillard, J.L (1992), A History of American English, New York: Longman
- Downing, John (1978), "Strategies of Bilingual Teaching", International Review of Education, 24 (3): 329–346, Bibcode:1978IREdu..24..329D, doi:10.1007/BF00598048, S2CID 145456540
- Eberhardt, Maeve (2008), "The Low-Back Merger in the Steel City: African American English in Pittsburgh", American Speech, 83 (3): 284–311, doi:10.1215/00031283-2008-021
- Edwards, Walter (2004), "African American Vernacular English: Phonology", in Kortmann, Bernd (ed.), A Handbook of Varieties of English: A Multimedia Reference Tool, 2, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 366–382, ISBN 9783110175325
- Farrison, W. Edward (1970), "Dialectology versus Negro dialect", CLA Journal, 13: 21–27
- Fickett, Joan G. (1972), "Tense and aspect in Black English", Journal of English Linguistics, 6 (1): 17–19, doi:10.1177/007542427200600102, S2CID 145716303
- Florini, Sarah (2014), "Tweets, Tweeps, and Signifyin': Communication and Cultural Performance on "Black Twitter"", Television & New Media, 15 (3): 223–237, doi:10.1177/1527476413480247, S2CID 145278111
- Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1988), The Signifying Monkey: a Theory of Afro-American literary Criticism, New York: Oxford University Press
- Golden, Tim (January 14, 1997), "Oakland Scratches plan to teach black English.", New York Times, pp. A10
- Green, Lisa J. (2002), African American English: A Linguistic Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-89138-8
- Guralnik, David Bernard (1984), Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0671418149
- Harry, Beth; Anderson, Mary G. (1995), "The disproportionate placement of African-American males in special education programs: a critique of the process", Journal of Negro Education, 63 (4): 602–619, doi:10.2307/2967298, JSTOR 2967298
- Holloway, Karla (1978), A critical investigation of literary and linguistic structures in the fiction of Zora Neale Hurston (Ph.D dissertation), Michigan State University
- Holloway, Karla (1987), The Character of the Word: The Texts of Zora Neale Hurston, West Port, CT: Greenwood Press
- Holton, Sylvia Wallace (1984), Down Home and Up Town: the Representation of Black Speech in American Fiction, London: Associated University Press
- Howe, Darin M.; Walker, James A. (2000), "Negation and the Creole-Origins Hypothesis: Evidence from Early African American English", in Poplack, Shana (ed.), The English History of African American English, pp. 109–139
- Kendall, Tyler; Wolfram, Walt (2009), "Local and external language standards in African American English", Journal of English Linguistics, 37 (4): 305–330, doi:10.1177/0075424209339281, S2CID 145527700
- van Keulen, Jean E.; Weddington, Gloria Toliver; DeBose, Charles E. (1998), Speech, Language, Learning, and the African American Child, Boston: Allyn and Bacon
- Labov, William (1969), "The logic of non-standard English", in Alatis, J. (ed.), Georgetown Monograph on Language and Linguistics, 22, pp. 1–44
- Labov, William (1972), Language in the Inner City: Studies in Black English Vernacular, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
- Labov, William (2001), Principles of Linguistic Change, II: Social factors, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-17915-1
- Lanehart, Sonja, ed. (2001), "State of the art in African American English research: Multi-disciplinary perspectives and directions", Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English, Varieties of English Around the World, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 1–20
- Lee, Margaret (1999), "Out of the Hood and into the News: Borrowed Black Verbal Expressions in a Mainstream Newspaper", American Speech, 74 (4): 369–388, JSTOR 455663
- Linnes, Kathleen (1998), "Middle-class AAVE versus middle-class bilingualism: Contrasting speech communities", American Speech, 73 (4): 339–367, doi:10.2307/455582, JSTOR 455582
- Lippi-Green, Rosina (1997), English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States, London: Blackwell, p. 200
- McWhorter, John H. (2001), Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of a "Pure" Standard English, Basic Books, ISBN 9780738204468
- Morgan, Marcyliena (1999), "US Language Planning and Policies for Social Dialect Speakers", in Davis, Kathryn Anne; Huebner, Thom (eds.), Sociopolitical perspectives on language policy and planning in the USA., John Benjamins, ISBN 1-55619-735-7
- Mufwene, Salikoko (2001), "What is African American English?", in Lanehart, Sonja (ed.), Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English, Varieties of English Around the World, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 21–52
- Ogbu, John U. (1999), "Beyond Language: Ebonics, Proper English, and Identity in a Black-American Speech Community", American Education Research Association, 36 (2): 147–184, doi:10.3102/00028312036002147, S2CID 220339794
- Pinker, Steven (1994), The Language Instinct, New York: Morrow, ISBN 0-688-12141-1
- Poplack, Shana (2000), The English History of African American English, Blackwell
- Poplack, Shana; Tagliamonte, Sali (2001), African American English in the Diaspora, Blackwell
- Pullum, Geoffrey K. (March 27, 1997), "Language that dare not speak its name", Nature, 386 (6623): 321–322, Bibcode:1997Natur.386..321P, doi:10.1038/386321a0, S2CID 4255646, archived from the original on May 27, 2010, retrieved August 27, 2010
- Quinn, Jim (1982), American Tongue and Cheek: A Populist Guide to Our Language, New York: Penguin, ISBN 0-14-006084-7
- Radford, Andrew; Atkinson, Martin; Britain, David; Clahsen, Harald (1999), Linguistics: An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-47854-5
- Read, Allen Walker (1939), "The speech of Negroes in colonial America", The Journal of Negro History, 24 (3): 247–258, doi:10.2307/2714378, JSTOR 2714378, S2CID 150204787
- Rickford, John (1997a), "Prior Creolization of African-American Vernacular English? Sociohistorical and Textual Evidence from the 17th and 18th Centuries", Journal of Sociolinguistics, 1 (3): 315–336, doi:10.1111/1467-9481.00019
- Rickford, John (1997b), "Suite for Ebony and Phonics", Discover Magazine, 18 (2)
- Rickford, John (1999), African American Vernacular English, Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-21245-0
- Rickford, John (2015), "African American Language in California:Over Four Decades of Vibrant Variationist Research" (PDF), in Lanehart, Sonja (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of African American Language, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 299–315
- Rickford, John; Rickford, Russell (2000), Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English., New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-39957-4
- Sampson, Geoffrey (1997), Educating Eve: The "Language Instinct" Debate, London: Cassell, ISBN 0-304-33908-3
- Schilling-Estes, Natalie (2006), "Dialect Variation", in Fasold, Ralph; Connor-Linton, Jeff (eds.), An Introduction to Language and Linguistics ed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 311–42, ISBN 0-521-84768-0
- Simpkins, Gary A.; Holt, Grace; Simpkins, Charlesetta (1977), Bridge: A Cross-Cultural Reading Program, Houghton-Mifflin
- Smith, Ernie; Crozier, Karen (1998), "Ebonics Is Not Black English", The Western Journal of Black Studies, 22: 109–116
- Smitherman, Geneva (1977), Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America, Boston: Houghton Mifflin
- Smitherman, Geneva (1999), "CCCC's Role in the Struggle for Language Rights", College Composition and Communication, 50 (3): 349–376, doi:10.2307/358856, JSTOR 358856
- Smitherman, Geneva (2000), Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner (revised ed.), Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-96919-0
- Spears, Arthur K. (1982), "The black English semi-auxiliary come", Language, 58 (4): 850–872, doi:10.2307/413960, JSTOR 413960
- Spears, Arthur K. (2015), "African American Standard English", in Lanehart, Sonja (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of African American Language, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 786–799
- Stewart, William A. (1964), Non-standard Speech and the Teaching of English, Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics
- Stewart, William A. (1969), "On the use of Negro dialect in the teaching of reading", in Baratz, Joan; Shuy, Roger (eds.), Teaching Black Children to Read, Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics, pp. 156–219
- Stewart, William (1975), "Teaching Blacks to Read Against Their Will", in Luelsdorff, P.A. (ed.), Linguistic Perspectives on Black English., Regensburg, Germany: Hans Carl
- Sweetland, Julie (2002), "Unexpected but Authentic Use of an Ethnically-Marked Dialect", Journal of Sociolinguistics, 6 (4): 514–536, doi:10.1111/1467-9481.00199
- Thomas, Erik R. (2006), "Rural White Southern Accents" (PDF), Atlas of North American English (online), Walter de Gruyter, archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2014, retrieved July 17, 2019
- Trotta, Joe; Blyahher, Oleg (2011), "Game done changed A look at selected AAVE features in the TV series the Wire", Modern språk, 1: 15–42
- Trudgill, Peter (1983), On Dialect, New York: New York University Press
- Walser, Richard (1955), "Negro dialect in eighteenth-century drama", American Speech, 30 (4): 269–276, doi:10.2307/453562, JSTOR 453562
- Wardhaugh, Ronald (2002), An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, Blackwell
- Wheeler, Rebecca S., ed. (1999), The Workings of Language: From Prescriptions to Perspectives, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 9780275962456
- Wheeler, Rebecca; Swords, Rachel (2006), Code-switching: Teaching Standard English in Urban Classrooms, Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English
- Williamson, Juanita (1970), "Selected features of speech: black and white", CLA Journal, 13: 420–433
- Winford, Donald (1992), "Back to the past: The BEV/creole connection revisited", Language Variation and Change, 4 (3): 311–357, doi:10.1017/S0954394500000831
- Wolfram, Walter A. (1994), "The phonology of a sociocultural variety: The case of African American Vernacular English", in Bernthal, John E.; Bankson, Nicholas W. (eds.), Child Phonology: Characteristics, Assessment, and Intervention with Special Populations, New York: Thieme
- Wolfram, Walter A. (1998), "Language ideology and dialect: understanding the Oakland Ebonics controversy", Journal of English Linguistics, 26 (2): 108–121, doi:10.1177/007542429802600203, S2CID 144554543
- Wolfram, Walter A.; Fasold, Ralph W. (1974), Social Dialects in American English, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
- Original Oakland Resolution on Ebonics.
- Amended Resolution.
- Applebome, Peter (December 20, 1996). "School District Elevates Status of Black English". The New York Times. p. A18. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Golden, Tim (January 14, 1997). "Oakland Scratches Plan to Teach Black English". The New York Times. p. A10. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Labov, William. "Some Sources of Reading Problems". Language in the Inner City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1972.
- Lewis, Neil A. (December 23, 1996). "Black English is Not a Second Language, Jackson Says". The New York Times. p. B9. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
- Linguistic Society of America. Resolution on the Oakland Ebonics debate. 1 July 1997: Adopted by LSA membership in a mail ballot.
- Morgan, Marcyliena (1999). "US Language Planning and Policies for Social Dialect Speakers". In Davis, Kathryn Anne; Huebner, Thom (eds.). Sociopolitical perspectives on language policy and planning in the USA. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN 1-55619-735-7.
- Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Policy Statement of the TESOL Board on African American Vernacular English. March 10, 1997.
- Weldon, Tracey L. (Autumn 2000). "Reflections on the Ebonics Controversy". American Speech, Vol. 75, No. 3, Diamond Anniversary Essays. pp. 275–277.
- Wolfram, Walt (1998). "Language Ideology and Dialect: Understanding the Ebonics Controversy". Journal of English Linguistics. doi:10.1177/007542429802600203. S2CID 144554543.
- Center for Applied Linguistics. "Dialects: African American Vernacular English". Links to "a variety of resources related to African American Vernacular English", a lot of them hosted by the Center, many directly related to this controversy.
- Rich, Frank. "The Ebonic Plague". The New York Times, 8 January 1997.