LANGUAGE AND THE BLACK EXPERIENCE
English colonial expansion and pursuit of trade during the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries gave rise to a wide array of language varieties, among them the pidgin and creole varieties that arose in the plantation colonies of the Atlantic, Pacific and the Americas. In this course, we examine the languages of enslaved Africans as they are reanalyzed/reformed in these new contexts. We will confront and challenge 'common sense' beliefs/ideologies about language, race, education, and power. In particular, we will: examine of the structure, history and use of Afro-American language varieties; take a close look at the history and symbolic role of language in the lives of Blacks; examine how people's sociocultural experience is reflected in language; examine the relationships between language and social life in the African-American and Caribbean communities; and consider implications of language differences for social and educational opportunities.