Talking Black in America

Sociology and Linguistics combine in this film with social justice.  If this inspires your research, visit with a librarian or explore the resources below.

Learn more about African American English in this Great Courses (32 min) video.

Walt Wolfram is a highly esteemed scholar of linguistic diversity and sociolinguistic justice. You can keep up with his work online by visiting The Language and Life Project, a non-profit outreach education endeavor to document and celebrate dialects, languages, and cultures of the United States. You can also watch more videos and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Book Jacket

book jacket

Dr. Wolfram’s ebooks are available: The Development of African American English and Dialects at School: Educating Linguistically Diverse Students.     See additional books and articles below.



This is a bibliography of research; skim it to find thebook jacket

best articles to start your research.  African American English and Other Vernaculars in Education.


Newspapers are a crucial step in the research process.  For example, I read this article recently in the New York Times: Speaking Black Dialect in Courtrooms Can Have Striking Consequences  It includes current research coming out later this year and legal repercussions of ignorance.  Don’t forget NYU Shanghai students can access the New York Times; the library provides the subscription.  You simply install the app and log in once a year from campus.

A dissertation explored Crossing over: White youth, hip-hop and African American English, which you can read online.

book jacket

Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age






Book jacket


Language, Discourse and Power in African American Culture