Ebonics Essay

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Ebonics

Ebonics, which stands for Ebony + Phonics is a new term that Linguistics use to describe Black Dialect or Black English or many of the other names that it has been given for more than 350 years. Ebonics is a "language" that is a combination of "proper English" and a combination of African languages. This combination pattern was formed on how certain words are pronounced such as, this and that, would be pronounced dis and dat in Ebonics. In most Ebonics words with the "Th." sound has an "D" sound. These are just some of the many patterns that were created when Africans were forced to learn the English language. History states that around 1619, during the slave trade, ships collected slaves not just from one nation but
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“Around 1858, over 400 slaves from Africa were brought to Georgia none of them knowing how to speak the English Language.” (Smitherman, 1994, p10) Being that these two groups merged together they adapted each other’s language whether it was correct or incorrect. On the East Coast of America, “the Blacks spoke a different degree of Ebonics”. (Lewis, 1996, MSN) In 1744 The New York Evening Post read, "Ran away...a new Negro Fellow named Prince, he can't scarce speak a Word of English" (Fisher, 1996, MSN) In 1760 an ad in the North Carolina Gazette read: "Ran away from the Subscriber, African Born, speaks bad English."(Stoller,1996, MSN) In 1734, the Philadelphia American Weekly Mercury read: “Run away; he’s Pennsylvania Born and speaks good English," These articles show where each person came from and what there English was like. It is obvious that masters kept tabs on how well their slave could talk. It was one of the ways that the masters could identify their slaves when they had many of them. They also used the slaves that new good English to translate or explain what the other slaves were saying. In the Mid 1800's slaves tried to use their language to help them escape from slavery. They would sing spirituals, which their masters could not understand. Harriet Tubman and many others communicated in Ebonics, which their masters couldn't
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