Ebonics: The Native Language of the Black American.
For the modern African American the idea of being fluent in a language unique to his or her culture as well as English never crosses his or her mind. For the only language he or she thinks their parents and them know is English, but this is far from true. In fact, most African Americans are bilingual and speak probably one of the hardest languages known to man. It can be heard in almost any American urban community, and changes with time like any other language. It is Ebonics also known as Black English, and through it the African heritage of the black American is told. .
To begin with, Ebonics is a language that uses English words with West African grammar, specifically from the Bantu family. Originally and even sometimes today, Black English is thought of as broken English or slang. In the past, "it was inconceivable to them [white linguists] that phonological, morphological, or semantic interference could have existed where Africans retained their language behavior in connection with English" (Asante, 20). Likewise, even though the English language was forced upon the African slaves, they still maintained parts of their native languages by using them to learn English. Because of this, African Americans" language resembles that of West Africans more than it does English. .
Moreover, people thought that the culture the African slaves brought to America ceased to exist because of slavery, but it persevered through Ebonics. Ebonics became the slaves" code for messages they didn't want their masters to know. It was said, "One of the main applications of black language has been to strengthen the in-group solidarity of black Americans to the specific exclusions of whites, and to deceive, confuse, and conceal information from white people in general" (Dalby 172). Many times the slaves sang the code in gospel hymns; some are still sung today.