Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.

Paperback | November 1, 2012

byH. Samy Alim, Geneva Smitherman

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Barack Obama is widely considered one of the most powerful and charismatic speakers of our age. Without missing a beat, he often moves between Washington insider talk and culturally Black ways of speaking - as shown in a famous YouTube clip, where Obama declined the change offered to him by aBlack cashier in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with the phrase, "Nah, we straight."In Articulate While Black, two renowned scholars of Black Language address language and racial politics in the U.S. through an insightful examination of President Barack Obama's language use - and America's response to it. In this eloquently written and powerfully argued book, H. Samy Alim andGeneva Smitherman provide new insights about President Obama and the relationship between language and race in contemporary society. Throughout, they analyze several racially loaded, cultural-linguistic controversies involving the President - from his use of Black Language and his "articulateness"to his "Race Speech," the so-called "fist-bump," and his relationship to Hip Hop Culture. Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America. In challenging American ideas about language, race, education, and power, they help take thenational dialogue on race to the next level. In much the same way that Cornel West revealed nearly two decades ago that "race matters," Alim and Smitherman in this groundbreaking book show how deeply "language matters" to the national conversation on race - and in our daily lives.

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Barack Obama is widely considered one of the most powerful and charismatic speakers of our age. Without missing a beat, he often moves between Washington insider talk and culturally Black ways of speaking - as shown in a famous YouTube clip, where Obama declined the change offered to him by aBlack cashier in a Washington, D.C. restaur...

H. Samy Alim is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Anthropology and Linguistics at Stanford University, where he directs the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Language (CREAL) and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA). Some of his most recent books include You Know My Steez, Roc the Mic Right, Talkin Black Talk, ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199812985

ISBN - 13:9780199812981

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Table of Contents

ForewordShowin Love1. "Nah, We Straight": Black Language and America's First Black President2. A.W.B. (Articulate While Black): Language and Racial Politics in the U.S3. Makin A Way Outta No Way: The Race Speech and Obama's Rhetorical Rem4. "The Fist Bump Heard 'round the World": How Black Communication Becomes Controversial5. "My President's Black, My Lambo's Blue": Hip Hop, Race, and the Culture Wars6. Change the Game: Language, Education, and the Cruel Fallout of RacismIndex