Re: Ebonics and the Classics, anyone?

From: Andrew A. Scholtz (
Date: Tue Jan 21 1997 - 23:10:00 EST

On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, David Meadows wrote:

> Interesting defenses of Ebonics today; obviously the NPR program to which
> many have referred did not mention anything about certain members of the
> Oakland board declaring the basis for Ebonics to be "genetic" and a language
> unto itself

It might be well to point out the sense in which "genetically African" was
originally meant vis-a-vis Ebonics. As explained in the NPR report (at
least, the one I heard), a certain linguist had described Ebonics as
"genetically African" in the sense that its linguistic patterns are
African in origin -- by itself a controversial enough claim, I suppose,
but one having nothing to do with mitochondrial DNA vel sim. This
all-too-easily misinterpreted choice of terms did, however, make for a
quotable tidbit.


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