Awkward experiences with the N-word occur frequently, especially in the realm of hip-hop. Imagine this: you’re singing “Forget You” by Cee-Lo Green at karaoke with your friends, and you come to this part:
“Oh sh** she’s a gold digger, just thought you should know ni**a”.
The N-Word has the power to stop anyone’s karaoke jam in its tracks. What’s a music lover to do? Mumble something else? Forget the word entirely? Laugh it off? Read more…
“Where Have You Been” by Rihanna is this week’s new entry in the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts. This week’s hot summer songs have a lot of African American English (AAE) features yet to be explored. Particularly noticeable this week is AAE being featured alongside Standard American English (SAE) in songs that combine both hip-hop and rock elements.
Let’s look at the lyrics:
African American English (AAE) ushers in the holiday week, popping up all over the Billboard Charts. These top ten hits seem to be playing with AAE vocabulary, like swag, and tense-marking-suffixes. Check out some samples of the African American English features in these chart-topping songs:
To speak about African American English is to also speak about the children and the communities who speak this language. The Academy Award winning 1993 feature film, I Am A Promise, documents one year in the life of African American children attending Stanton Elementary School, an elementary school in urban Philadelphia.
The film opens with the following information:
“Stanton Elementary School is located in North Philadelphia, a troubled inner city neighborhood. Stanton is designated a Chapter One School which receives federal funds to help educate disadvantaged poor children who test below national norms in reading and math. All of the students are African American boys and girls between the ages of four and ten. At Stanton over 90% of the children come from single-parent homes and live in poverty.”
Written by guest bloggers LaShaya Howie and Akintoye Moses.
We BEEN considering how to break down the linguistic features of African American English. BEEN contemplating the oral tradition of boastin’ and braggin’ within the African American experience. The bottom line, is that we BEEN in need of an examination of the complexities of how we, as African Americans, have BEEN using language in profound ways. Read more…