Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Black English Vernacular
The term Ebonics, from the words ebony (“Black”) and phonics (“sounds”), was coined by social psychologist Robert Williams in 1973. Also known as Black English Vernacular (BEV) or African American Vernacular English (AAVE), Ebonics is a social dialect spoken mainly by African Americans in the United States. It has long been a subject of controversy within K-12 education, since schools in the United States tend to view the replacement of students' nonstandard speech with standard English as one of their main tasks. However, as perhaps the most widespread and salient nonstandard dialect of English, and one with strong cultural associations to a historically subjugated and educationally marginalized population, Ebonics has proved impervious to official attempts to eradicate it. It has thus come to symbolize both the persistent crisis of inner-city communities of color and the persistent failure of public schools to adequately serve those communities. In more recent years, recognition ...