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Talking Black in America

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Auburn Avenue Research Library

101 Auburn Avenue Northeast

Atlanta, GA 30303

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The Baton Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, will host a film screening and panel discussion about Black speech. The program is FREE and open to the public. Reserve seats here.

Filmed in a variety of rural and urban locations (including Atlanta) throughout the United States and the African Diaspora, Talking Black in America addresses the persistent misinformation about Black speech and situates it as an integral part of the historical and cultural legacy not only of Black Americans, but also that of all Americans.

Black English is the most controversial and misunderstood variety of speech in America. As with other forms of discrimination (racial, employment, housing, etc.), linguistic discrimination continues to affect Black people. Moreover, the ways in which it is linked to intelligence, educational achievement and literacy are widely misunderstood by the public and by professionals in a number of allied fields.

With the perspectives of everyday speakers and the guidance of historians, linguists, and educators, Talking Black in America showcases the history and symbolic role of language in the lives of Black people and highlights its tremendous impact on the speech and culture of the United States and the world.

After the film, Atlanta poet ABYSS and radio personality DJ Nabs will join Dr. Tracey Weldon for a panel discussion and audience Q & A.

About the Film
Talking Black in America is the latest production by the Language & Life Project at N.C. State University (LLP), a research, engagement and outreach initiative under the direction of sociolinguist Walt Wolfram. The LLP was established in 1993 to focus on research, education, and outreach programs related to language and culture in the American South. Talking Black in America was produced by Neal Hutcheson and Danica Cullinan. Dr. Walt Wolfram was the executive producer.

About the Panelists

Tracey Weldon, Ph. D.
Tracey Weldon is an Associate Professor in the English Department and the Linguistics Program at the University of South Carolina, where she currently serves as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Arts and Sciences. Weldon is a quantitative sociolinguist, specializing in varieties of American English, with a particular focus on African American English (AAE) and Gullah. Her current book project, under contract with Cambridge University Press, examines the use of AAE by middle class speakers.

DJ Nabs
DJ Nabs is an Atlanta-based DJ and record producer. Nabs, a native of Durham, N.C., began his career in Atlanta in the late 80’s as a mix show DJ for WVEE radio. He attended Morris Brown College and would eventually work with numerous performers (among them, Arrested Development, Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Bow Wow, Kris Kross, and many others). Nabs has recorded and produced many remixed projects (In the Lab with DJ NABS, 1998; In the Wind, 2002; The Product & The Power, 2005; Power & The Product II, 2008; among others). Nabs founded Mad DJ Academy, and currently works for Atlanta radio station Boom 102.9.

ABYSS
Derrick ABYSS Graham is a Peabody Award-winning POET/Musician/EMCEE. He was Creative Loafing's Spoken Word Artist in 2013, and the first Poet on 106th and Park (AJ & Free). ABYSS is the only Poet on a CD with PRINCE (Rhonda Smith's Rs2), and performed at the 12th annual Gospel Choice Awards. He's appeared on HBO's Def Poetry and the 2nd Season of BET's J Lyric Cafe. ABYSS is also a motivational speaker.

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Auburn Avenue Research Library

101 Auburn Avenue Northeast

Atlanta, GA 30303

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