Aired: January 8, 2011

Spoken Soul: Black English in the Classroom

Accents can be endearing – but they can also limit chances for professional and academic success.  Southern students and African-American students are often marginalized in the classroom because of their dialects.  Anne Harper Charity Hudley (College of William & Mary) is the co-author of a book to help educators work with language variations – to make sure students don’t suffer for the way they talk.  And: John Russell Rickford (Stanford University) has written a book on the topic: “Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English”.  Also featured: The Affrilachian Poets are celebrating 20 years.  Frank Walker coined the term in 1991 after he came away from a literary event frustrated by the exclusion of African American writers from Appalachian literature. Theresa Burriss (Radford University) is an expert on the Affrilachians and an honorary member of the group.