What does Ebonics mean? Not what it is, but how was the term created?

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  1. Phyllis Doyle profile image94
    Phyllis Doyleposted 4 years ago

    What does Ebonics mean? Not what it is, but how was the term created?

    Since 1996 the term Ebonics has primarily been used to refer to African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Dr. Robert Williams, an African-American psychologist, coined the term "Ebonics" in 1973. How did he come up with that word?

  2. kj force profile image66
    kj forceposted 4 years ago

    Dr Williams introduced in1973, but was not accepted by state until 1996... combined the two words " ebony " and " phonics" to form " Ebonics". A language of English with Black linguistics. He felt this would give African Americans a language of their own. It is still used among many to this day...many expressions are used in rap music..
    Interesting question..

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image94
      Phyllis Doyleposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, kj, for answering. You are spot on. I was wondering early today about the origins of the language and how the word Ebonics came about, so I did the research. It is an interesting subject. Thanks again.

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I did not realize that Ebonics was so old.  Where was this Dr. Williams located?

  3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image98
    TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years ago

    I'm not sure about this one, but I think Ebonics was born at the university level by someone knowledgeable about languages who realized that African Americans developed a language unique to their culture.  Someone who does not "know" this language cannot understand what people are saying when they use it.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image94
      Phyllis Doyleposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Hi TT2. Yes, it is a difficult language to understand. Thanks for answering.

  4. cperuzzi profile image95
    cperuzziposted 4 years ago

    It's an ugly answer... but since you asked...

    The etymology behind "ebonics" is the combination of the word "ebon" meaning "dark or black" and a play on "phonics" (a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners' phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them) as in "Hooked on Phonics". 

    Put em together and you get "eb*on*ics".

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image94
      Phyllis Doyleposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Good answer, Christopher. Thanks for contributing.

  5. helenstuart profile image64
    helenstuartposted 4 years ago

    I remember the '70s, and the argument over ebonics became a two edged sword. Statistics proved that standardized intelligence tests were geared towards white kids growing up in the white experience speaking the king's english, and this was unfair to kids of other cultures. I wonder if they ever rewrote those tests? If you ever go to New Orleans, a large part of the white population from all economic backgrounds use exactly the same speech patterns and even the same deep growly voices (the men) of the black population. I love all differences. But the reason why is that for generations, white kids were raised by "Mammies" and saw them more than there own mothers. It still carries through today.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image94
      Phyllis Doyleposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your comment, Helen. I appreciate it.

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