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Black Language and Equity in Education

Authors: Floyd, Carlton D.
Issue Date: Nov-2010
Publisher: Journal of Equity in Education
Citation: FLOYD, C.. Black Language and Equity in Education. Journal of Equity in Education, North America, 1, Nov. 2010.
Abstract: This paper argues that the educational system in the United States has shown little interest in educating African Americans. This lack of interest is most evident in public responses to Black language, which has shown repeatedly that this language and those that use it are subjects of derision. Derision of any culture, particularly of one so integral to the nation’s foundation, teaches disrespect for racial and ethnic differences and fosters inequities in a nation and an educational system considered to uphold ideals of equality and equal opportunity. This issue of disrespect and its potential impact on students has too often been eclipsed in debates about definition. What is the linguistic form associated largely but not exclusively with Black people? Can this form be considered a language, a dialect, or is it something else altogether? Can or should it be used in educational settings, and how? Important though these questions may be, they typically overshadow the questions posed here, which I draw from the writer, James Baldwin (1979). Can and should a nation seek to teach a people for whom they have shown consistent disrespect? Can and should a people seek to learn from a nation that has consistently disrespected them?
Appears in Collections:Journal of Equity in Education

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