Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America

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Wayne State University Press, 1977 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 285 pages
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In her book, Geneva Smitherman makes a substantial contribution to an understanding of Black English by setting it in the larger context of Black culture and life style. In addition to defining Black English, by its distinctive structure and special lexicon, Smitherman argues that the Black dialect is set apart from traditional English by a rhetorical style which reflects its African origins. Smitherman also tackles the issue of Black and White attitudes toward Black English, particularly as they affect educational policy.

Documenting her insights with quotes from notable Black historical, literary and popular figures, Smitherman makes clear that Black English is as legitimate a form of speech as British, American, or Australian English.

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Awesome book. Helped me understand the roots of Black English. I will highly recommend it to of those looking to further analyze its origins and the richness it provides to the American culture.

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About the author (1977)

Geneva Smitherman is Professor of Speech Communication and Senior Research Associate at the Center for Black Studies, Wayne State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

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