Articulate While Black by H. Samy Alim
Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.

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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 a Black 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 and Geneva 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 the national 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.

About H. Samy Alim

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Peter Appelbaum is Associate Professor, Arcadia University, Pennyslvania, where he teaches Mathematics Education, Curriculum Theory, and Cultural Studies, and is Coordinator of Mathematics Education Programs, and serves on the University Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee; University General Education Task Force; University Intercultural Committee. Secondary Education Committee; and Elementary Education Committee. His publications include Popular Culture, Educational Discourse, and Mathematics (SUNY Press, 1995); (Post) Modern Science (Education): Frustrations, propositions, and alternative paths, coedited with John Weaver and Marla Morri (Peter Lang, 2001), Multicultural and Diversity Education (ABC-CLIO, 2002), Children's Books for Grownup Teachers (LEA/Routledge, in press), and numerous chapters in edited volumes and journal articles. David Scott Allen teaches 7th, 8th, and sometimes 9th grade math at Pennbrook Middle School in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Published September 3, 2012 by Oxford University Press. 224 pages
Genres: Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Sociolinguists Alim and Smitherman bring dual backgrounds as educators and activists to this metalinguistic analysis of “racially loaded cultural-linguistics controversies” about Obama, or as they so deftly say, “we’re gonna talk about the talk about the way Barack Obama talks.” Even as...

Jul 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Articulate While Black: Barac...

Racism Review

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Alim and Smitherman make an interesting argument about “code switching” – that is, moving from standard ‘white’ American dialect to a ‘black’ dialect.

Oct 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Articulate While Black: Barac...

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