Talking Black in America
Talking Black in America

Rashid Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon
April 11
4:30 p.m.

A first of its kind feature-length documentary exploring African-American speech will premiere in Pittsburgh during a free screening and panel discussion.

Produced and directed by Neal Hutcheson and Danica Cullinan, “Talking Black in America: The Story of African American Language” examines African-American ways of talking from Harlem, Charleston, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, rural Mississippi, the Bahamas and beyond — and illuminates its tremendous impact on speech and culture in the U.S.

Featuring commentary from linguists and historians, the film delves into controversies such as the Oakland Unified School Board’s decision to recognize African American Vernacular English in their curriculum in the late 1990s, addresses persistent misinformation about African American speech, and showcases the history and symbolism of language in the lives of African Americans.

Executive producer Walt Wolfram will introduce the film.

The event will feature a panel discussion with Fred Brown (Homewood Children’s Village), Waverly Duck (University of Pittsburgh), Lovie Jewell Jackson Foster (Allegheny County Children Youth and Families), and Tamara Sanders-Woods (Pittsburgh Public Schools).

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...