ERIC Number: ED159703
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Them to Curse: A Study of Certain Types of Inherent Racial Bias in Language Pedagogy and Practices.
Purnell, Rosentene B.
Racist language is more pervasive than sexist language. Not only are there obvious racial slurs, but also most English black and black-oriented words have negative meanings. One study found over 134 synonyms for whiteness, 44 of which were favorable, and only 10 had any semblance of negative connotations. In the same study, 120 synonyms for blackness were found, 60 of which were distinctly unfavorable, and none of them were even mildly positive. Not only does language reflect prejudgments, but it also sustains what it has created. We think in the categories of our language: black is negative, white is positive. The cultural and attitudinal implications of this must be respected and as we become sensitive to them it is important to change our use of language. It is not a universal concept that black is negative and white is positive, as a look at Oriental and black literature demonstrates. Without some balance, students are subjected to a profanation of their self-image which interferes unduly with cognitive development. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (29th, Denver, Colorado, March 30-April 1, 1978)