03 May 2014


The New 52: Futures End #0

          Futures end #0 is an introduction to a new series of comic, in which the land of humans ( super-heroes) has been overtaken by evil called Brother Eye.  The electronic program, Brother Eye moves around and destroys the Earth while assimilating all the humans who gets in it way. It eventually leads to the collision of past and future, where Batman travels back in time to destroy the Brother Eye before its created.


30 April 2014


       In a recent article I read titled Suite For Ebony and phonics by John Rickford where in the early 90's this Oakland school board has approved a resolution that was recognized as a primary language of African American students. the reaction of most people across the country in the media, at holiday gatherings and a electronic bulletin boards was overwhelming  negative. in the flash flood of emails on America on online. Ebonics was described as lazy English, bastardized English poor grammar, and fractured slang. Oakland's decision to recognize Ebonics and use it to facilitate mastery of standard English also elicited superlative of negativity ridiculous ludicrous "very, very stupid" a terrible mistake.

Dear Mr.. Rickford,
           I currently read an article Written by you titled Suite for ebony and phonics and I'm actually glad you brought this to my attention and for many different reasons. One reason being that Ebonics is actually a form of commutation in my eyes and is used highly among people where its happens to have largely a vast amount of multicultural people also use Ebonics and not only African Americans which gives use the understanding that it isn't just slang but actually a language like the English language or any language in this case. In the article the spoke shamefully on the idea of it being taught in school which can be understandable if Ebonics didn't follow rules to but it actually does have rules to it like the English language has rules which is only usually applied when writing as far as punitions and thing of that nature but not when simply commutating between parties. They even called it a fractured slang but when you look at it from a larger view when language's are created they usually are fractions or pieces of other words which all ready exist not saying its stolen but its understood and then given a slightly curve to it where its now has its know identity in the sense for example the word "icon" meaning a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something. which comes form the Greek word eikon  which has nearly the same definition meaning a visual representation and all the English language didn't was change the spelling when adapting the word to its culture but you don't hear people calling the English language a bastardized language or fractured Greek so why not take Ebonics serious and allow it to be taught in school as part of the African American culture.

29 April 2014

A Strong Argument for Ebonics in Education

Towards the late 90’s, the School Board of Oakland, California announced that Ebonics has become the official language of African American students in that area. They felt that this form of “language” should be recognized and many linguists feel that this is the right decision when educating African American youth when it comes to improving literacy skills.  Many linguists believe that it could be used as a tool to help teach these students how to improve their Standard English.  John Rickford, a linguist, once said, “The support of linguists for this approach may strike nonlinguists as unorthodox, but that is where our principles—and the evidence—lead us.” After reading Rickford’s article, I have to agree with him.  There seems to be much evidence that accepting Ebonics as a form of the English language, and studying its similarities and difference to Standard English in the classroom, could lead to a higher rate of improving literacy skills amongst African –American students.

Any one can have an opinion, however when studies or experiments are performed that back up someone’s opinion, I tend to listen to them a little more closely and feel like their opinion has more credibility.  Without evidence, who can really say that one idea is better than another?  Fortunately for Linguist’s like John Rickford, there seems to be some evidence that strongly supports his view on Ebonics.  In John Rickford’s article, Suite for Ebony and Phonics it explains that “there is experimental evidence both from the United States and Europe that mastering the standard language might be easier if the differences in the student vernacular and Standard English were made explicit rather than entirely ignored.”(p. 28)   After reading this, it made me think about how I heard on the news once that another study showed that children who are truly bilingual often end  scoring higher on many achievement tests when compared to monolingual peers. Could teaching both using Ebonics and Standard English in classrooms lead to higher performance down the line for African American students?  One particular study mentioned in Rickford’s study might actually show that this could be true.

Outside of Chicago, at Aurora University, inner-city African-American students were taught English using a unique strategy.  The style of teaching used with these students “contrasted Standard English and Ebonics features through explicit instruction and drills. After eleven weeks, this group showed a 59 percent reduction in their use of Ebonics features in their Standard English writing.  But a control group taught by conventional methods showed an 8.5 percent in such features. “ (p.28) This study strongly supports the idea that the Oakland School Board suggested for the instruction of their students. Using Ebonics in the classroom can be a very useful tool.  The students who worked on writing the traditional way actually showed an increase of the use of Ebonics in their writing. However, the group that used Ebonics as a tool to improve Standard English showed a huge decrease in their use of Ebonic features while writing.  By focusing on using a language the African American students already knew very well, they were able to compare and contrast it with Standard English, which probably helped them wrap around the Standard English.  They now knew what to avoid doing while trying to write in Standard English. By ignoring Ebonics, their familiar language, it seemed to stunt the other groups’ growth. I believe this simply happened because they did not know what Ebonic features they should avoid using while writing an academic paper. 

Black Phonics

                 According too John Rick ford "Ebonics" means the black phonics. The article "Suite for Ebony and Phonics" is a very interesting article that interprets Ebonics as bastard and lazy English and also poor grammar. Which is said to be a slang only used by African Americans not all African Americans do use it. Even though it was started by African Americans the standard is not Ebonics, but Ebonics is also not determined as its on language but just the modern day slang John Rickford a linguistic professor and director of the Center for African American studies at Stanford University states that Ebonics is deriving from both "ebony" and  "phonics" which means black sounds.

Dear John Rick ford,

             While reading your article I personally believe the real reason why linguistic believe Ebonics is not determined as a langauge is because of the type of people that use it such as African Americans. We face sterotypes based on how we speak and the color of our skin. English maybe different from Ebonics but more and more each day other racial groups beyond us blacks use ebonics aka slag each day. Instead of Ebonics being a language its a quick play of using words which turns it into slang which most perfer today


Black English the New English

"Black English" is it a way of life? Can it be a way of expressing yourself in your own way? In the essay Nobody Mean More to Me Than You, and the Future Life of Willie Jordan by June Jordan, she goes in depth about the the usage of "Black English." She goes on by stating rules on how to use "Black English", like for example it is not all about swearing or just trowing words together but to have a pattern and rhythm of speech. In addition, "Black English" most of the times is wrong "Standard English" and you did not have to worry about spelling. As well as, stating that most of the Afro-Americans living in the United States depend on this language to communicate and to express a way of though. June was teaching her class about this way because she noticed that the class was not interested in a book called The Color Purple by Alice Walker that was written in "Standard English." Well the class was not interested in the book until the teacher asked the class to translate a section of the book into "Black English" was when the class started to catch interest in the book. She had a very special bond with a student of hers named Willie J. Jordan Jr. a very intelligent man, very shy, always on time to class and was always into the discussions with in the class. Until one day, Willie just stop showing up to class and was not heard from for quite awhile until he reached out to his teacher one day. She then found out about his brother being shot by police officers while being unarmed. She was heart broken to find out that tragedy that had occurred. She wanted to tell the world of this tragedy she wrote letters to try to get them on the newspaper or on the T.V. so they can raise money to prosecute the murder of Willie's brother. They never raised the money for the prosecution but Willie did write an essay in "Black English" and "Standard English" expressing how he felt about his brothers death and about making changes in society

I believe the point June was trying to make with this essay was that, no matter who you are, where you come from, what you are, who you may be come, it does not matter because in this society we are being molded into what society think we should be but we do not need to change who we are how we feel, how we express ourselves, how we communicate with one another. This is why I think she wrote about "Black English" to tell us that even though we have rules and mandatory languages that have to be learn but that does not have to mean that we can not be different in our own ways. For many year the "Man" has put an image into our head of what the ideal man(person) should be, how should he represent him self, how should he speak. We are all different in our own ways and that is what makes us unique. I believe June added Willies entire essay to show the reader how Willie expressed himself and communicated with his readers in his style of text "Black English."

Suite For Ebony & Phonics

Suite For Ebony & Phonics by John Rickford, linguistic professor and director of The Center For African American Studies at Stanford University, gives a form of awareness to the masses on first and foremost what Ebonics is ("Deriving from both "ebony" and "phonics", meaning black sounds"; basically an English dialect founded to be spoken by majorly African Americans, not all - "more common among working class than among middle class speakers, among adolescents than among the middle age, and informal contexts (a conversation in the street) rather than formal ones (sermon at church) or writing).  Rickford also gives insight upon the action taken by Oakland School Board to approve "a resolution recognizing Ebonics as the primary language of African American students". With Oakland's decision in such action controversy was derived by many linguists expressing Ebonics as "lazy English , bastardized English , poor grammar , fractured slang and continued to say Oakland's decision to recognize Ebonics and use it to facilitate mastery of Standard English as ridiculous , ludicrous , Very Very stupid , and a terrible mistake." Based of the three founding principles linguists derive their practices from "1. describe how people talk - not to judge how language should or shouldn't be used ... 2. All language, if they have enough speakers, have dialects - regional or social varieties that develop when people are separated by geographic or social barriers ... 3. All languages and dialects are systematic and rule governed" thus Ebonics cannot be labeled as "slang". Rickford goes on to say "Ebonics is more of a dialect of English than a separate language, because it shares many words and other features with other informal varieties of American English. And it's speakers can easily communicate with speakers of other American English dialects." Rickford gives clear example through this excerpt to show how Ebonics is indeed a dialect of English giving Ebonics sentences ("He runnin , He be runnin , He  Bin runnin") and even did an experiment where he "presented the Ebonics sentence "She BIN Married" to 25 whites and 25 African Americans from various parts of the United States asking if they understood the speaker to be married or not ... 23 of the African Americans said yes, only 8 of the whites gave the correct answer". This shows that Ebonics is relevant and can be understood through different cultures but more importantly it is a form of English dialect.

Dear Mr. Rickford ,

Personally I believe linguists see a problem within the use of Ebonics that others don't. The underlying issue I feel is more than just Ebonics itself but more of whom uses it, African Americans/the minority - thus linguists label it as "Lazy English , Bastardized English , Poor Grammar and Fractured Slang". Through these labels, there is a sense that this issue derives from more than what the linguists make it out to be; Ebonics itself can't be a dialect based off the people who execute and practice it. As for the general public, their perception of language use and varieties is different compared to linguists due to the fact the general public is born and embedded into a lifestyle affected by their surroundings; in short the customs of a regular civilian is completely different from that of a professional whom studies the use and varieties of language itself, the value for the actual art of language would be different for each party.

28 April 2014

Black Sounds

Suite for Ebony and Phonics written by John Rickford speaks about Ebonics which means black phonics. Ebonics is describe as lazy English, bad grammar and fractured slang.Mr Rickford give a reason why some people think that Ebonics not an actual language but just "lazy English" or a short cut to say words easier or faster.The evidence of this are examples on page 279 where it says"He bin runnin.("He has been running.")" and this is just one of the four examples. Most Linguists who study sounds, words and grammars of different languages and dialects agree that Ebonics is more of a dialect of English than a separate language. The last sentence where it says" The support of linguists for this approach may strike non linguists as unorthodox, but that is where our principles and the evidence lead us.", I believe that this sentence means that learning Ebonics would help to learn Standard English because it would help other people know how to talk in different situations when they call for them like when your talking to your friends or when you are at job interview. It may seem weird and unorthodox to non linguists but sometimes weird things or the way that things are being said can be beneficial.

proper english or just slang?

"Nobody Mean More To Me Than You, and the Future Life of Willie Jordan"

  This story is about black English and white English. The story starts off with the author explaining how majority of African Americans living here depend on their black English for our discovery of the world. Also the author writes how there is also a group of people that will not support people to be themselves but to becomes clones of people and talk and act the same as everyone else. African Americans have to change how they talk completely to please other people around them so they can sound more smart and educated. They have to become someone they are not because other people say its right. Black English is considered a endangered species because no one is using it anymore because people look at it as improper English. "White English" is considered proper, supreme , and unquestioned.  The story is about a teacher teaching a new course called "In search of the invisible black woman", and the teacher had a large class divided by a equal amount of black men and women and five or six white students also sat in the class. There was a student named Willie Jordan he looked like a wrestler he looked like he didn't belong in that type of class because of what was being taught. He didn't join in when his classmates were being loud. He was though very interested in the discussions. When it was his turn to present his argument he spoke with clarity and sincerity. his brother un armed was killed by two police officers at the age of twenty five. The police never gave his family a real explanation of why he was killed. The teacher tried to secure legal counsel for the Jordan family. unfortunately black victims of police violence is so high and the resources available to prosecute their killers are truly scarce. with Willies permission the teacher presented the case to her class. They had talked about many subjects in her class from sex and child abuse and men and women. But the murder of Reggie Jordan broke like a hurricane across the room. Many of the students respected and liked Willie Jordan and came from the same neighborhood as where the murder occurred. Many of them had family and friends that were killed by police. They wanted to avenge death all at once. They wanted to write personal statements of condolences to Willie Jordan and his family written in black English. They also wanted to write to the police in black English and last they wanted the letters sent to Newsday. Newsday rejected their piece , the village voice could not find room for their piece , no one raised enough money to prosecute the murder of Reggie Jordan. Reggie Jordan was really 

question number 6: 

When I read this passage it made me emotionally because it made me think why should the students have a tough descion to make when it comes to what form of English to use ? Why can't they just feel comfortable using their own "black English" that's how they speak they should be able to express themselves In the way they feel like. The police killed Willie Jordan's brother which was unarmed for no good reason. They should be able to send the police personal letters in "black English" because that is the best way they can express themselves they shouldn't have to write in a certain way to please other people because others think it's the right way. If I was there I would agree they should use "black English" because I believe they should be able to express themselves and feel comfortable when writing their statements  to the police about the killing of Willie Jordan's brother. I would discuss that the African Americans in my class should write a group letter to the police describing in detail how they feel and to make sure it's in black English to make sure it is known to the police that the African Americas are a unit a team and aren't going to conform to a certain way of speaking to please anyone because that's not right or fair. 

27 April 2014

Dialect OR Slang ?

In the essay "Suite for Ebony and Phonics” by John Rickford, he explains what Ebonics is, and the issues people have with it accepting it as an English dialect, and not slang. He discusses the controversies it raised when it was approved as an English dialect. The approval of Ebonics as a primary language of African American students in the Oakland school board caused a major uproar in the public. The majority of the respond towards it was highly negative. People where describing Ebonics as “lazy English” “bad grammar” and “fractured slang”, and Oakland’s decision to recognize Ebonics and used it to facilitate the mastery of Standard English, also received negative critique, calling their decision “ludicrous, very very stupid, and a terrible mistake”. Nonetheless linguists, who study dialects, sounds, words, and grammar, thought more positively of Ebonics, and didn't think the Oakland school board was at a wrong with their decision. A claim Mr. Rickford made in this essay is that linguists identify Ebonics as an English dialect. “The ‘rules’ of the dialect do not allow the deletion of the second consonant at the end of a word unless both, are either voiceless, as in ‘st’ or voiced as in ‘nd’” (pg.281) this supports the claim because it gives an example as how Ebonics isn’t a slang or lazy, it has rules, that wouldn't be used if indeed it was a lazy language.   

Mr. Rickford
I think linguists see the issue of Ebonics differently than the general public, because they have a more broad understanding of what language is. Like you stated in "Suite for Ebony and Phonics” linguists don’t judge how a language is used, linguists describe how people talk. A lot of people might think that language has only one set of specific rules, but languages have a lot different dialects depending on where a person lives. Contrary to what some people might think, linguists agree that Ebonics is not “fractured slang” or a “lazy language”, it is an English dialect. As noted in your essay, according to the experimental studies made in both the United States and Europe it might be easier to master a language if the differences between a student’s dialect and Standard English were made clear. People who are not well informed in Ebonics and or how languages work are not going to understand that it is not “lazy language” but a dialect of English and that it has its own set of laws.



John Rickford

In the Article "Suite For Ebony And Phonics" by John Rickford is a about a slang Ebonics which is described as "lazy English," "bastarized English," "poor grammar," that the language is nothing more than just distinction between standard English language and a Lazy English Language. " While its features are found most commonly among African Americans ( Ebonics is itself derived from "ebony" and "phonics," meaning "black sounds"), not all African American speak it. The features of Ebonics, Especially the distinctive tenses, are more common among working-class than among middle-class speakers, among adolescents than among the middle-aged, and informal contexts (a conversation on the street) rather than formal ones (a sermon at church) or writing.(page 281)" Even though it came from African Americans the standard English language is not a Ebonics,but also is not interpreted as its own language as Ebonics interpreted as slang.

Dear Mr.John Rickford,
After I was reading your article, I have came up with an answer of my own which I hope shine some light on your question. Because the study of Ebonics is not a language of English but find it to be more as ways of understanding and speaking slang. Since Ebonics " words pronunciation is another distinctive aspect of dialect, and the regularity of these difference can be very subtle. Most of the "rules" we follow when speaking standard English are obeyed unconsciously." But linguists needs to know that Ebonics can be or not be a Language, but people would always catch on to Ebonics words quicker with out the studies. Linguist could find that more understanding without seeing the distinction between the both Ebonics slang and English Language of pronunciations. And wont have arguments in which if Ebonics is a language but to be a appreciated of all the differences it have.



       In the article, Suite for Ebony and Phonics, John Rickford has discussed the issue of ebonics as a language versus a dialect of English. While ebonics simply means 'black speech' (a blend of the words ebony 'black' and phonics ‘sounds'). However, many arguments has been made referring ebonics as a completely different language. In this case, the author claims that ebonics is a dialect since there is similarities to standard English that form a strong bond. The evidence for that has been provided in article when author stated “ Ebonics is more of a dialect of English than a separate language, because it shares many words and other features with other informal varieties of American English. And its speakers can easily communicate with speakers of other American English dialects.” ( pg-279). This supports the claim because when people can talk and understand each other, that means they’ve understandable/common way communicating. Because the two "languages" differ when it comes to grammatical structures, but the words are similar in both languages. 

Dear Mr. John Rickford,
I read your article, Suite for  Ebony and Phonics, and it was so helpful for me to enlighten myself  on similarities and differences of ebony and Standard English. And also how it came into being. However, concerning to the question you asked “ why linguists see the issue [of Ebonics] differently from most other people”, I would say it has to do with research and study. Linguists study all of the features and characteristics of a particular language (ex: ebonics) in details while other people don’t. General public, who don’t study languages, may not be able to come up with distinct rules of grammar and pronunciation (regarding to ebonics, standard English and slang), unless they would start any research on it. However, people can become aware of all this when linguists notify people by using media resources and also by spreading the idea of informing students about language differences and similarities.


Syeda Abbas