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The Skin That We SpeakLisa DelpitIntroduction
"Our language embraces us long before we are defined by any other medium of identity."-Delpit
Discrimination of Students Based on Their Language
Standard English vs. Black EnglishWhite and Black 3-5 year old childrenOver 70% of the time, both thought the BE speaker was Black and SE speaker as White. Most said they would rather get presents from the SE speaker because "he had nicer presents."
1996-97 Ebonics Debate surrounding the proposal by the Oakland School District for improving education of African American students:-Stated Ebonics not a form of-Standard English but language form of its own-Teachers to be trained in Ebonics-Ebonics in the classroom proved to improve student learning
Head Start Program born from President Johnson's War on Poverty- Educators believed the children's inferior language was responsible for their learning issues- Head Start began to help bridge the gap in learning
White linguists discovered the speech of African Americans was not a dialect, but a language. Professor Robert Williams gave this language the name “EBONICS”.
The King Case of 1979Plaintiff: Parents from the Green Road Housing Project in DetroitDefendant: Detroit school systemArgument: School was not teaching the children to read.Ruling: The schools were charged to “help the teachers understand the problem”; “ help provide them with knowledge about the children’s use of a ‘black English’ language system; and, “suggest ways and means of using that knowledge in teaching the students to read’.
"It may not be the children's language that causes educational problems, but the educational bureaucracy's response to the language."