Write a 300-400 word reflection focusing on your reactions to Talking Black in America. Pay particular attention to the points of overlap between the film and lecture.
How people speak is closely tied to their identities and to ideas of self-worth. Why are there stigmas against different ways of speaking English? What are some of the historical and cultural reasons why African American Vernacular English (AAVE) have been seen as “wrong” or “bad” or had other kinds of negative stereotypes associated with it? How have those stereotypes impacted the ways in which speakers of AAVE feel about themselves, their families, and their culture?
What are some of the factors that led to the development of African American Vernacular English? What kinds of factors would you envision resulting in the creation of new dialects in the future?
Code switching is featured prominently throughout this documentary. Why do people code switch? What does code switching allow people to do? Do you have any experience with code switching? If so, what were those experiences like?
What is something new you learned about language and dialects in America? Or what is something you want to learn more about? Be careful not to fall into the trap of stereotypes (e.g., everyone in a group or culture does X) when considering your own experiences).