Talking Black in America, West Coast

Tomorrow’s signal linguistic event at Stanford:


On the film, from theĀ Language and Life Project (North Carolina State Univ. Linguistics):

African American English is the most controversial and misunderstood variety of speech in America. Linguistic discrimination continues to affect speakers of the variety, and the ways it is linked to educational achievement and literacy are widely misunderstood by the public and by professionals in a number of allied fields. National discussions of language issues ranging from the proposed amendment to the Constitution to make English the official language of the United States to the public controversy about the decision of the Oakland Unified School Board to recognize Ebonics in their curriculum have indicated the critical, symbolic role of language differences in American society. With the perspectives of everyday speakers and the guidance of historians, linguists, and educators, Talking Black in America showcases the history and symbolic role of language in the lives of African Americans and highlights its tremendous impact on the speech and culture of the United States. The documentary addresses the persistent misinformation about African American speech and situates it as an integral part of the historical and cultural legacy of all Americans.

Produced and Directed by Neal Hutcheson and Danica Cullinan; Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Talking Black in America will be screening across the country Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 in a series of special events.

You can watch the trailer for the film here. And a 31:15 interview of Walt Wolfram by Ricky Camilleri about the film is available here


— an interview in the

BUILD Series NYC … live interview series where fans sit inches away from some of the biggest names in entertainment, fashion and business as they share their stories. (link)

Personal notes:

I won’t be able to attend the screening and the Walt and John show following it, but I recommend the package.

On another front, Facebook’s data engines have identified me as a gay male with very liberal politics, and African American as well — the last presumably on the basis of my FB icon:


(though there’s other evidence they could have used). I’m a bit miffed that they didn’t peg me as Jewish, though.

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