Jan 22, 2009, 09:38AM


"Barack Obama's inaugural address was the first in a long time to resound powerfully enough to be worthy of marble. However, it was the first in the 220-year history of the custom in another way: its seasoning of black cadence."


However, over the past two decades, Black English has made its way even more deeply into the American mentality: It has become an unofficial lingua franca for young Americans of all colors. It is not uncommon to hear a group of teenagers speaking in Black English, and find when they pass by that they are actually Latino, Asian, or with the cohort under about 25, white. To Americans older than this, the affectionate response to Black English is more a matter of reception than active command. However, the mainstreaming of soul music starting in the late sixties, followed by the mainstreaming of hiphop in the nineties, today means there are a vast number of whites for whom Black English signifies warmth, truth, "reality."


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