Date: Sun, 20 Nov 1994 09:55:04 -0500 From: Ron Rabin Subject: Re: Recent Black English My students report, given examples of urban black speech: "no one talks like that any more" or (and to my point) "it's embarrassing when you talk about that in class." Is it possible that students deny the existence of the invariant BE or put it off to "country talk" because it's a stigmatized form _now_ as perhaps it was not for their parents 25 years ago? Is there really any question that BE is still there and functioning as it has? I have noticed lately that my urban black students (from Buffalo and New York City) code switch more than they did when I began teaching here (18 years ago). Code switching I hear typically has sentences beginning in black English (often an introductory, locating or qualifying phrase) and finishing in "academic English," often with jargon we've been using in class, sometimes utilizing whole sentences from discussion.