There are many opinions on Black English. An interesting sociology research paper topic is whether or not presenting Black English as a language is a viable option. Have Paper Masters custom write you a research paper on Black English as a language.
Black English is from African descent and was Americanized by necessity when slavery in America occurred. It is a distinct dialect that tells of the history of a culture, records the oppression of another, and what remains is what we call Black English today. Black English, according to James Baldwin, is not a language but rather a "creation of the black diaspora". James Baldwin asserts that "the argument has nothing to do with language itself but with the role of language". Thus some research papers on Black English argue that it should not be taught as a language due to the following facts:
- Language is often a mere political tool;
- Black English can be a reminder of current and past oppression
- Language may be a tool that enables white people to continually abuse the history and roots of Black Americans
Black English and Culture
Language and verbal adaptation is unique to human beings. Adapting to a particular language is a cultural, as well as educational experience. Language is needed to communicate with members of our own society and is essential for proper development. The role of a mother, relative or member of one's own society or culture teaching a child to speak is crucial in the natural development of that child. It is easy to see how cultural norms in language develop consistently over time and remain an important part of the social, educational and linguistic development of one's culture.
The Development of Black English
The development of Black English is a language rooted in culture and was nurtured over time. The recording of the transformation of the African language to Black English is not traceable in written form but through dialect patterns established over time. In the United States, slaves came from many tribes throughout Africa and their own languages varied greatly. Therefore, they had the daunting task of assimilating their own languages among each other and then attempting to interpret the white man's language. It was to the advantage of the slave owners to keep have the slaves unable to communicate among themselves and to the white people in order to limit their ability to form a rebellion or descent. When the slaves eventually became free, there was a desperate need for the African Americans to learn the language and assimilate into American culture to obtain jobs and communicate. Therefore, there was a social need to shed the past bindings to slavery. The better a black man could communicate, the better the chance of him getting a job and working for wage in America. This is why Baldwin asserts that Black English is an example of the fact that "A language comes into existence by means of brutal necessity, and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey". Thus, to teach Black English as a language would be a slap in the face of the roots of Black English and, as Baldwin asserts, the white man cannot be trusted to teach it productively. Baldwin states, "A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled".