The Ebonics Debate

4 April 2015
A paper on the sociology and linguistic perspectives of “The Ebonics Resolution” a Californian plan to accept African-American language as the primary language of African-American students.

The paper shows that in 1996, the Oakland School Board in California passed the “Ebonics Resolution” – a plan to accept African-American language, termed Ebonics, as the primary language of African-American students and to implement a system to teach them in their primary language as a means of assisting them to learn standard American English. The paper discusses the debate that followed involving the public and the media. It shows that while the linguistic experts in the field were in support of the Ebonics Resolution, the Resolution had a significant social impact. By comparing the meaning of the issue from a sociological and a linguistic perspective, the paper shows the real issues involved in their entirety.
“In the Ebonics debate the part of culture involved is language, a very basic component of our society. Language is something that is taken for granted, with the belief of the general population being that the accepted language is the correct one. The social rejection of Ebonics and the rejection of accepting it as a primary language can be seen as a form of the majority group of society asserting their own belief in their superiority. This is not necessarily representing that the majority group do not want to accept others. Instead it reflects the basic principle of society assuming that the majority group is correct.”

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The Ebonics Debate. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 22, 2020, from
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