Pan Africanism : AAVE ( Ebonics )

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by African_Prince, May 23, 2005.

  1. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I wanted to found out out of curiosity how old the English language was and it's origins and I stumbled on African American Vernacular English.

     
  2. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    African Prince

    This is a timely thread as we battle for the heart and soul of black America.




    What a lot of people fail to realize is that much of the way we as AfroAmericans speak was learned from being brought up by souther white rednecks who were basically uneducated and had a poor grasp of the English language themselves.

    You can go down South today and still hear most white folks using words like "yall" and "ain't".

    You can find them eating chitlings, ham as well as corn bread and butter milk just like black folks all over America.

    They also fight, get drunk, and go to jail much more than the whites from up North because for the most part they aren't as sophisticated or refinded.

    These are the people we originally got our culture from as black Americans.



    There is an attempt on the part of some to not only save this culture but embrace it within our community and claim it as ours, they call it" keeping it real".

    But this is dangerous in my opinion because it only keeps us trapped in a cycle of non-progressive slave mentality reasoning.

    I think there is truely a genetic basis for ebonics but poor English is still poor English.
    I'm guilty of it myself.
    But as long as we live in an English speaking society we should try to master this language and other skills as best possible.
    That way we don't sound ridiculous to others who come to this nation and speak near correct English and wonder why after living here 400 years we haven't learned to.
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Ralfa'il, please read the following quote from the article presented by African Prince:

    "It is common for an oppressed people (such as African slaves in the Americas) to develop a radically different dialect from that of their oppressors. Such a departure from majority language usage is, of course, a natural consequence of cultural differences. However, sociologists, linguists and psychologists believe that such divergent language development is often a kind of passive resistance to subjugation, oppression or cultural aggression. Language becomes a means of self-differentiation that helps forge group identity, solidarity and ethnic pride. In the case of African-Americans, AAVE has survived and thrived through the centuries also as a result of group societal marginalization -- through segregation, discrimination and often self-imposed social separation.

    Most speakers of AAVE are bidialectical in that they command Standard American English (SAE) to varying degrees in addition to AAVE. African Americans who speak AAVE exclusively are most commonly southern and rural, or those with working-class roots. Generally speaking, the higher the socioeconomic status of one's custodial parents, the higher the level of formal education attained, and the greater the socialization with speakers of SAE or other dialects, the less likely one is to speak AAVE, or to speak it exclusively. Most African-Americans, however, regardless of socioeconomic status, educational background, or geographic region, use some form of AAVE at least occasionally in informal and intra-ethnic communication. This process of selective language usage, based on social context, is called code switching. Some phrases in AAVE have entered popular American culture, and these may be employed contextually by speakers belonging to diverse ethnic groups.

    Because of white supremacist beliefs, racism and prevailing cultural biases, whites commonly believed the aberrant English of African slaves was due to inferior intellect. Such prejudices persist today. AAVE often is perceived by members of broader American society as an indicator of inferior intelligence or low educational attainment. Further, like many other creole dialects, AAVE sometimes has been called "lazy" or "bad" English. A similar perception exists with regard to SAE in Britain and other English-speaking nations. Such appraisals also may be due in part to AAVE's substitution of aspect for tense in some cases and certain grammatical and phonological reductions. Some challenge whether AAVE should be considered a dialect at all. However, among linguists there is no such controversy."

    Now, understand that African Americans learned english from the very same Scottish and English "rednecks", as you referred to them, as every english-speaking African continental or African Caribbean, and yet we speak english differently - why??? I think the article points out that we, initially, did it to passively resist our oppressors, by maintaining the African grammatical structure that we arrived her with... It was our link to our past, and we struggled to maintain it to the point of an unconscious programming of it into generations of African Americans.

    Secondly, the article points out that we are "BI-Dialectical", meaning we speak our dialect, as well as, the english of the majority white population. There is nothing wrong with the way African Americans speak. The entire world praises us in deed, if not in words, for the hip eloquence of our dialect,brother. Great books have been written using our dialect... Great poems have been, and continue to be written, using our dialect... Great songs, and great musical genres have arisen because of our dialect, my brother... The dialect is not bad english, it is OUR ENGLISH, and it is far more creative than the colonial language for which you are arguing that we adopt...

    I believe African Prince, himself, said Language is the greatest indicator of whom a person is culturally... Are you arguing, albeit unconsciously, that we just completely immerse ourselves in so-called "good english", that we may become as white as white folks? Think about this question, good brother...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Isaiah

    Respect


    Come on now brutha Ike!

    Didn't Elijah Muhammad say that anything other than the original was devil?

    So according to his theory, if we aren't speaking the original true English as spoken by the British then we're speaking in a devilish and corrupt language regardless of how it developed.



    I think we speak English differnetly from eachother for the same reason Americans, Irish, Canadians, and Australians speak English differently from the British...because of regional isolation and habit.

    You probably know by now that most Africans who come West whether it's America or England don't speak Ebonics like we do but near perfect English, because they learned it formally and properly.

    Old habits are hard to break and although we have access to all the text books in the world to teach us proper English, it's easy to fall back on what we feel comfortable with which is a broken form of English.

    It is a form of laziness and low self esteem to continue to speak improperly because you don't want to make an effort to improve your linguistic skills and think that proper dialect is only for white folks.




    You have a point to a certain extent bro, but what's being praised isn't our dialect but the fashionable way we express ourselves.

    The French and Italians who come to America marvel at how black people seem to express themselves so colorfully and suave compared to the dull bland stale faced white way.
    They say in expression that they are closer to AfroAmericans than even to white Americans.

    But again, they are talking about our style and expression, not the improper and misplaced words we use.






    Well....

    English is English and either we should speak it properly or not speak it at all and develop our own more suitable language for our genetic code.

    But as we come into more and more contact with others in this globalized world....

    Like I said, other's aren't gonna be so understanding as to why it only takes them 5 years to learn English and they speak it fluently (with an accent) in the corporate world; while most of us who have been here 400 years still have to slob, flop our tongues, and twist our mouths all up in pain in an effort just to say good morning because we were stuck in a cultural ghetto where poor English was common and we never can get used to speaking properly.
     
  5. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "You probably know by now that most Africans who come West whether it's America or England don't speak Ebonics like we do but near perfect English, because they learned it formally and properly."

    True, but Nigerians, and maybe other West Africans, have their own pidgin English that's similar to Jamaican patois.
     
  6. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    African Prince

    Since they claim it's genetically based.....

    Do you or any black African you know personally speak Ebonics or AAVE?
     
  7. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    No.I'm sure some do as you know many Whites and and other non-Blacks are infatuated with hip hop culture and attempt Ebonics and even say '*****' like 'water'.
     
  8. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The more stuff changes, it seems to stay the same...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  9. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    Im not sure what country youre in. But several kenyans ive met in the u.s. while at school seemed to be eager to learn ebonix (as well as dress in hip hop attire). I met one kenyan cat we did the "black amrican" hand shake. he was all smiles like yo i just learned that hand shake the other day. You are correct hip hop is verry influential, in every country on the planet.

    Yes ive noticed african music from nigeria seems to have a jamaican flavor.

    Yo RAF so what do you make of whites who walk around the corporate board room lik..hey dude..and whats shaking guy?

    btw raf you are wrong.. i am sure some southern whites rubbed off on the enslaved humans from afrika but we influenced them im willing to bet more than they influenced us. Funny your assesment of afrikans from foreing lands who speak "perfect english" are these the same ones aa's call white washed?

    peace
     
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