Disappointment -- No soul? LO11931

ray evans harrell (mcore@soho.ios.com)
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 01:33:56 -0800

Replying to LO11870 --

I have been asked to supply an article to the Times on the meaning
of Ebonics to the student of language. This has been a discovery process
for me, but I think that it comes down to whether one will be encouraged
to start with themselves and their history in their education or begin
externally. As I was working on that paper your post came in and I was
profoundly moved by the parallel. Too often we have been cut off from the
source of our gestures, micro-movements, thought patterns and had them
submerged in an English structure that grounds us only in the external.
The two articles against the use of Ebonics written by African Americans
deny that it is a structure from Africa. One of the examples used for the
African origin is the lack of the verb "to be" found in both Niger-Congo
languages as well as in Ebonics. The first writer Brent Staples, and
editor at the Times complained mostly about the reference to the language
as genetic i.e. having to do with being or to be, the other by Shelby
Steele a English professor now with the Hoover Institution at Stanford
said and I paraphrase, "forget being they have to learn how to do!"
Interesting that these non-Ebonics individuals also refused to deal with
the verb "to be". Maybe there is some language process that has survived
the transition to English within these professional English writers as

Thank you for this letter. I am sending this to the list because I
believe that each of these interactions are paralleled by attitudes and
negotiations in the work place. I gave a talk for Lucent in November
where they had no idea but wanted to know the unique process that Native
Americans share when they work together. It is important and it does cost
money when it is ignored. I was told not to expect their upper management
to do more then pay their respects, however they stayed to the end, asked
questions and danced the Friendship dance with us to finish. I was


Ray Evans Harrell, artistic director
Magic Circle Chamber Opera of New York

Roxanne S. Abbas wrote:

> I have followed this discussion with great interest. I know that I am one
> of those who speaks much more from the head than from the heart (soul).
> The subject matter of the list and the intellect of the participants
> probably influence me in this direction, but I feel that the primary
> reason I speak from the head is that this is what I have been taught to do
> all my life. ...
[Quote of previous msg trimmed by your host...]


ray evans harrell <mcore@soho.ios.com>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>