Everyday African American Vernacular English is a dialect born from conflict and creativity

What is the biggest misconception about African American Vernacular English?

The biggest misconception – in fact it’s a widespread misconception – is that this form of everyday speech is just broken English; that people who speak it are unable to speak standard English or too lazy to do it. It is a misconception that has been there since the beginning of the inhabitation of this country by Black people. Stigmatized as it is, Black English is as sophisticated and diversified as any other linguistic variety; it’s a testament to the achievements of the Black people. We should celebrate the creative work that enslaved people in this country did in devising, synthesizing and bringing together the linguistic varieties that they encountered in this hostile environment.

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