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Ebonics

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 1997
Los Angeles School Board member Barbara Boudreaux plans to reintroduce her resolution Monday to require mandatory training in Ebonics for all Los Angeles Unified School District teachers. The proposal differs in only one major way from the one that was shifted to a committee for further study two weeks ago: It does not use the word "Ebonics," a term combining ebony and phonics that was coined in the early 1970s to describe the speech patterns of some African Americans.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 1997 | BARBARA ANTHONY RHODES, Barbara Anthony Rhodes is a professor at Cal State Northridge and director of the university's DuBois-Hamer Institute for African American Achievement
Just because I loves you That's de reason why My soul is full of color Like de wings of a butterfly Just because I loves you That's de reason why My soul is fluttering upon itself When you pass by When the nationally acclaimed poet Langston Hughes wrote these lines, he was using what I understand to be Ebonics. His substitution of "de" for "the" consistently throughout the poem reflects a systematic replacement that is characteristically African American.
NEWS
January 24, 1997 | MARC LACEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Members of the Oakland school district defended their Ebonics policy before a U.S. Senate panel Thursday, insisting that federal money is not going to be used to instruct students in black English. But the delegation of school officials, accompanied by an Oakland student and the linguist who coined the term Ebonics, were subjected to pointed questions from skeptical senators, who noted that they control $10 billion in federal education funding.
NEWS
January 19, 1997 | AMY PYLE, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Watching the raging Ebonics debate from inside the cyclone fence of 95th Street Elementary School is like waiting out a storm from the warmth of bed, touched only slightly by the turmoil outside. Language, dialect or slang? For the principal, teachers and students at this South-Central Los Angeles campus, settling on a label is largely irrelevant. Ebonics is, quite simply, the way many students speak--at least outside of class.
OPINION
January 19, 1997
The Los Angeles school board is still dithering over what to do with a well-intentioned but politically foolish proposal to expand the district's focus on "Ebonics," or black English. Following the Oakland school board's polarizing motion recognizing Ebonics as a separate language--a motion that it eventually backed away from--it's not enough to argue that the Los Angeles proposal is more reasonable in its wording, which it is.
NEWS
January 17, 1997 | KENNETH R. WEISS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Having retracted the most controversial portions of their policy on Ebonics, Oakland school officials said Thursday that they hope to finally shed the distraction of national attention and concentrate on improving the poor test scores of African American students.
NEWS
January 16, 1997 | KENNETH R. WEISS and RICHARD LEE COLVIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
After enduring a month of blistering criticism for its resolution calling Ebonics a language distinct from English, the Oakland Board of Education on Wednesday retracted the two points that most enraged its critics. In a unanimous vote, the seven-member board dropped a reference to African American speech as a "genetically based" language and eliminated a proposal that students be taught in Ebonics, a word coined from "ebony" and "phonics."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 1997 | AMY PYLE, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Trying to gingerly sidestep the Ebonics controversy, the Los Angeles Board of Education on Monday put off debating a proposal to train all 32,000 teachers in how to better cope with students who use African American speech patterns. Without comment, the board sent the resolution to committee for review and revision.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 1997 | BARBARA PERKINS, Barbara Perkins, a resident of Sylmar, is founding president of the San Fernando Valley Section of the National Council of Negro Women
Speaking a second language, I have always believed, adds a certain advantage to one's life. I am 39, African American and female. All of these characteristics have had advantages, and certainly disadvantages, in my life. I spent 12 years growing up in the Caribbean, where English was the primary language. However, with the island being British, and with the native dialect and my American accent, you could almost say I spoke a second language.
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