CMU Examines Origins And Evolution Of African-American Speech With ‘Talking Black In America’


On April 11, Carnegie Mellon University will delve into the roots and culture surrounding African-American language with the Pittsburgh premiere of Talking Black in AmericaProduced and directed by Neal Hutcheson and Danica Cullinan, it’s described as the first feature-length documentary devoted to African-American speech, and attempts to remedy misconceptions and resulting marginalization.

Talking Black in America follows the unique circumstances of the descendants of American slaves and their incredible impact on American life and language. Speech varieties from the African American community reflect the imprint of African language systems, the influences of regional British and Southern American dialects, and the creativity and resilience of people living through oppression, segregation and the fight for equality. Filmed across the United States, Talking Black in America is a startling revelation of language as legacy, identity, and triumph over adversity. Features Reverend Jeremiah Wright, DJ Nabs, Professor Griff, Quest M.C.O.D.Y., Dahlia the Poet, Nicky Sunshine and many others.

Talking Black in America will screen at 4 p.m. in Carnegie Mellon University’s Rashid Auditorium. A panel discussion with Fred BrownWaverly DuckLovie Jewell Jackson Foster, and Tamara Sanders-Woods will follow. The screening and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

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