Chapter 1: Black Language Matters

A Note about Terminology

What All Black College Students Deserve to Know About African American English

Who We Are

Our Goals for This Book and How to Use It

Looking Ahead in This Book

The chapter:

  • Provides an introduction to the topic and establishes the purpose of the book, in relation to key goals of challenging racism and promoting social justice and inclusion, particularly in higher education
  • Delineates who we are as authors, why we decided to write this book, and what needs of which populations will be served by this book, as described earlier in this proposal
  • Describes the scientific basis of the sociolinguistic approach to language, explaining why linguistics matters and how it overlaps with the fields of communication, rhetoric, and Africana studies, which more African-American students will have been exposed to in high school and college
  • Situates linguistic racism and linguistic justice as key issues in higher education, especially in relation to their impacts on students’ K-12 educational experiences, including the relationship between linguistic variety, self-esteem, and academic performance; the impact of linguistic racism on student/teacher and student/peer interactions; and intersections of linguistic racism with curricula, assessment, evaluation, and persistence.
  • Explains how the information we present in this book will help students see themselves as effective communicators and enhance their abilities to advocate for themselves and other Black students
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