AAVE + Ebonics

The issue that many Black people have with African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is that it's often associated with “undesirable” parts of society like poverty, drugs, violence, and gangs. But when corporations or non-black, specifically white people use it, they are co-opting its “cool” potential for their own gain and giving nothing back to the community that created it. It's not "GenZ language" or "TikTok Slang," Real black people talk like this in their real lives. It’s not a persona for some white teens to put on the internet. Black people have been using AAVE since the start of slavery because slaves weren't allowed to read, therefore they didn't speak "proper English." The problem with white people using AAVE is they try to use a blaccent while saying "purr miss gurl," and other AAVE terms. Most of the time y'all don't even say it correctly, which makes you sound goofy and that's truly embarrassing. White folks can use AAVE like a costume, wearing it when it benefits them and taking it off before retreating back to their privileged white bodies. They perform blackness without having to face the societal and institutional oppression of being a black person. White folks use AAVE for aesthetics while communities of color code-switch to survive.

Similar to AAVE, Ebonics simply means 'black speech' (a blend of the words ebony 'black' and phonics 'sounds'). The term was created in 1973 by a group of black scholars who disliked the negative connotations of terms like 'Nonstandard Negro English' that had been coined in the 1960s when the first modern large-scale linguistic studies of African American speech-communities began. In December 1996, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) passed a resolution declaring Ebonics to be the "genetically-based" language of its African American students, not a dialect of English. Yet, after a great deal of negative publicity, Oakland backed away from some aspects of its original resolution. The association of ebonics with criminality reiterates preconceived notions of inferiority cultivated by repetitive media misrepresentation and memorialized through government policy. This association is further exacerbated as it is often used to justify violence against black people and exemplifies how the use of ebonics to appear more intimidating influences public perception. In addition, the dissemination of ebonics as “fashionable” commonly emerges as white celebrities “discover” terms of black slang that predate their existence and are quickly deadened from overuse within the general public.