The events and issues following the infamous Oakland School Board resolution on Ebonics are shown to be the tip of a metaphorical iceberg referred to as the Ebonics phenomenon. It includes the body of linguistic knowledge on Black English, the critical reaction to it by Afrocentric scholars under the banner of Ebonics, the visceral reactions of members of the general public to the incongruous idea of Ebonics 'being taught in the schools', and the pundits and politicians who shape relevant laws and policies. From the perspective of African Americans, the Ebonics phenomenon is a manifestation of the double consciousness of being pulled in two directions at once - toward the benefits of standard English speech and the intrinsic worth and beauty of talking Black. Such are the themes that pervade the book - woven into chapters that focus on one specific aspect or another of the structure of African American language, its origin and history, its role in the black community and performing arts, and implications of all the above for the literacy achievement of African American learners.

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