Welcome to the Talking College Website!

Anne H. Charity Hudley, University of California, Santa Barbara

Christine Mallinson, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Mary Bucholtz, University of California, Santa Barbara

Talking College is an African-American student- and African-American studies-centered book with a focus on what African-American students in higher education deserve to know about linguistics. Language is a central and essential aspect of African-American culture and heritage, and knowledge about race and language is critical to addressing racism in all forms, both in higher education and in society more generally. This book presents key sociolinguistic information to address these issues while also demonstrating how a message of linguistic empowerment and linguistic justice can be carried through systematic partnerships to benefit African-American students on college and university campuses. The key audience is Black students themselves, while educators in high school and college will also find much of the material relevant and informative, from a student-centered perspective and we expect that they would be teaching the material to Black students in particular.

Talking College captures the reader-friendly and engaged approach from Charity Hudley and Mallinson’s previous work explaining African-American language and culture to a broad K-12 educator audience, while also incorporating recent research by each of the three authors on the context of the Black student experience in higher education. When African-American students enter college, they must navigate new and often unclear linguistic and cultural norms of higher education. In Talking College, we emphasize how a focus on language and culture in college and university settings can be used to empower African-American students and transform their educational experience.

Talking College is specifically tailored for African-American students and is designed to help them to be fully linguistically informed and make their own choices about how to understand academic and social success in higher education. It is different from the first two authors’ previous books in this regard, in that it speaks directly to the African-American student reader both as a scholar and as the agent and direct beneficiary of social and educational change. This book is for students, rather than simply about them. At the same time, it also provides crucial information for any reader who seeks to support the educational experiences of African-American students.