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Jordan's Jargon

June Jordan is a profound writer and spokesperson for Black Americans. Her views on the dialect called ‘Black English’, however, are quite arrogant and egotistical. Granted, the acknowledgment of other dialects in the United States is beneficial. Her views that it should be taught as separate English and possibly recognized as another ‘standard’ English language, is far too impractical and selfish. Much like white teenagers have their own jargon, Black English is just another informal way of communication amongst peers. ‘Standard’ English has been in practice for an extremely long time. It could be still debated as to the reasons that the ‘proper’ way to speak English is considered proper and why Black English is not considered an acceptable formal and taught language. My own opinion is two-fold. One, when slaves were brought to America, they had no formal training in the English language. They picked up only slight phrases from their owners and just learned as best as they possibly could, given the circumstances. My second opinion is that possibly, in order to rebel against the whites who treated blacks as terribly as they did, they came up with their own jargon that broke a number of ‘standard’ English rules. June Jordan, I am sure would agree that it is more the second of my two opinions. She never gets into the origin of Black English in her piece. However, she does recognize the fact that ‘standard’ English has been in practice for a long period of time. She complains that “…white standards of English persist, supreme and unquestioned, in these United States”. (274) In her mind, Jordan would like Black English to be the alternative to the Standard English that exists now. I feel she does not want Standard English to be alleviated, just for it to not be the absolute language of the United States. She goes on further to say that “[d]espite our multi-lingual population, and despite the deepening...

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