The Inferior/Superior Dichotomy
Ebonics, which comes from the words “ebony” and “phonics” is a term that Linguistics use to describe Black Dialect or Black English. The debate over Ebonics has several sides. Almost everyone has an opinion. Rachel Jones and Sonja Lanehart are two authors who stand on opposing sides of this argument. In her article, “What’s Wrong with Black English,” Jones defends the mainstream language ideology while Lanehart defends the alternative language ideology in her article “African American Vernacular English, Identity, and Education.” Their views differ completely and not much common ground is shared between the two.
In her article, Rachel Jones examines what it means and how it feels to be told she “sounds white” because she uses standard English. She notes that “for many blacks, standard English is not only unfamiliar, it is socially unacceptable.” Of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and James Baldwin she writes, “They all have full command of standard English, and I don’t think that knowledge takes away from their blackness or commitment to black people.” She concludes, “
I think Jones feels this divided sense of self because she tries to keep an allegiance to the valued world of her family, but also looks at herself and her world through the eyes of the dominant culture. Sonja Lanehart discusses the dynamics of ideology and identity in regards to AAVE in her article. In her article, Jones comments on the fact that she is "almost Jekyll and Hyde-ish the way she can slip out of academic abstractions into a long, lean, double-negative-filled dialogue. In fact she states that "the ideology of SE is really not the ideology: it is hegemonism rooted in fear that is based on racial, ethnic"difference. nonstandard or the question of a separate language is not about language, but is about a community of speakers with a recognizable culture. " She thinks that the ideology of progress is related to ethnocentrism, suggesting positive outcomes are race and culture related, rather than due to the failure of the education system. By her statements it is apparent that AAVE is innate for her as well, but she changes who she is to appease those around her. Jones seems to have more of a "double consciousness," as defined by W. " She believes that a line can be drawn from protecting one"tms heritage and assimilating sufficiently to gain admittance to a society, but she believes that one can both assimilate and preserve and I cannot agree with that statement. My goal is"to one day see more black people less dependent on a dialect that excludes them from full participation in the world we live in. As stated earlier, Jones admits to using AAVE at home where she is comfortable but changing herself for society. " Jones insists that her use of standard English has propelled her from a life of poverty, and it seems that she believes that the use of Ebonics by people today is equivalent to succumbing to a form of self-delusion that rejects success as a "white thing. "The two authors have two opposing arguments and do not share much common ground. She concludes that the debate over standard vs.