Black English

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Black English: Ebonics

Black English,

distinctive dialectdialect,
variety of a language used by a group of speakers within a particular speech community. Every individual speaks a variety of his language, termed an idiolect. Dialects are groups of idiolects with a common core of similarities in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.
..... Click the link for more information.
 spoken at times by as many as 80% to 90% of African Americans; also called ebonics [from ebony and phonics]. Long considered merely substandard English, it is in fact a distinct form. African slaves confronting white culture, and themselves speaking many different languages, developed a pidginpidgin
, a lingua franca that is not the mother tongue of anyone using it and that has a simplified grammar and a restricted, often polyglot vocabulary. The earliest documented pidgin is the Lingua Franca (or Sabir) that developed among merchants and traders in the Mediterranean
..... Click the link for more information.
, mixing for the most part English vocabulary and African syntax, that developed into Black English. Much that seems grammatically incorrect actually represents consistent application of African structural principles. A social, rather than regional, dialect, it is similar in all parts of the United States, as research since the 1960s has shown. Its role in public education is a source of controversy because its effect on the process of learning to read and write is not clearly understood. In addition, its exclusive use by individuals has usually limited their opportunities for social advancement. See also GullahGullah
, a creole language formerly spoken by the Gullah, an African-American community of the Sea Islands and the Middle Atlantic coast of the United States. The word is probably a corruption of the African Gola or Gora,
..... Click the link for more information.


See J. McWhorter, Talking Back, Talking Black (2017).

References in periodicals archive ?
Not unlike the British poet Tony Harrison in his use of West Yorkshire speech in The School of Eloquence, or Derek Walcott choosing a speaker of Caribbean patois to narrate "The Schooner Flight," Nelson demonstrates how American Black English is served eloquently by the forms:
Alternately, "the creolists claimed that Black English must be regarded as a language separate from American English; it has a separate history and was subject to a different pattern of development.
In more general terms, though, this is something English teachers with an interest in the study of language have been longing for from the earliest discussions of Black English in the 1960s: a theoretically sound place to stand on questions of language in the classroom.
1) And importantly, unlike the traditional perspectives on Black English, the purposeful invocation of Black Speak signals the intent to make (re)cognizable a "truth.
The purpose of the paper is to help educators understand Black English and celebrate this dialect in class while facilitating the acquisition of Standard English.
The district caused a national controversy four months ago when it suggested that ebonics, or black English, was a second language that is ``genetically based.
In McIntosh County, the words and cadences of black English, the Bible and Gullah intermingled in voices Greene likens to "a Georgia peach, a real Georgia peach, a backyard great-grandmother's-orchard peach .
Anderson (below), who 32 years ago became the first black footballer to represent England in a full international, believes that the Italian is breaking the mould in the same way black English players did back in the 1970s.
If you tried to abuse a black sportsman here, the way the Spanish torment Lewis Hamilton or our black English footballers, then you would be arrested.
There were four stories in Book One each written in Black Vernacular; Black Vernacular is also known as Black English or Ebonics.
Dullard, Geneva Smitherman, and others, regarding the linguistic properties of Black English.