Talking Black In America | James B. Hunt Jr. Library | Screen: Special Showings | Indy Week

Screen: Special Showings

Talking Black In America

When: Thu., March 23, 7 p.m. 2017

"Black English is not bad English, it's not a stereotype but a fact," John McWhorter wrote in Time last year. But debates over the meaning, value, and very definition of African-American vernacular English have raged for decades, long before "Ebonics" became a household word in the nineties. In recent years, Obama's preacherly cadences, his dropping of final g's, and other elements of black English—and the perceived authenticity thereof—were flashpoints of public contention. The new documentary Talking Black in America takes a historical perspective as it traces the development of what we call black speech: its origins in Africa, the Caribbean, the Deep South and industrialized North, as well as its role in the lives of those who speak it and in society at large. In doing so, the film aims to reverse institutionalized dialect prejudice and affirm the importance of black English as a cultural legacy, rather than shun it, as many have suggested. —David Klein

Price: free

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