African American English is the most controversial and misunderstood variety of speech in America. Linguistic discrimination continues to affect speakers of the variety, and the ways it is linked to educational achievement and literacy are widely misunderstood by the public and by professionals in a number of allied fields. National discussions of language issues ranging from the proposed amendment to the Constitution to make English the official language of the United States to the public controversy about the decision of the Oakland Unified School Board to recognize Ebonics in their curriculum have indicated the critical, symbolic role of language differences in American society. With the perspectives of everyday speakers and the guidance of historians, linguists, and educators, Talking Black in America showcases the history and symbolic role of language in the lives of African Americans and highlights its tremendous impact on the speech and culture of the United States. The documentary addresses the persistent misinformation about African American speech and situates it as an integral part of the historical and cultural legacy of all Americans.
Produced and Directed by Neal Hutcheson and Danica Cullinan
Executive Producer Walt Wolfram
Visit Talking Black in America Website
Talking Black in America will screen for public audiences at several venues in 2017 and 2018. All of these events are free and open to the public.
Monday, July 17th, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at 12pm in Raleigh, NC. Screening in NC State’s Caldwell Lounge followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Miami, FL. Screening at Florida International University followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Friday, September 22, 2017 at 3pm in Washington D.C. Screening at Georgetown University followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Friday, September 29th, 2017 in Columbia, SC.. Screening at the University of South Carolina followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram and Associate Producer Tracey Weldon.
Thursday, October 26th in Ann Arbor, MI.. Screening at the University of Michigan followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Saturday, November 4th, 2017 in Madison, WI. New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) Conference at the University of Wisconsin. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Sunday, November 5th, 2017 in Atlanta, GA. Screening and panel discussion to follow, in collaboration with The Baton Foundation at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 7:30pm in Los Angeles, CA. Screening at the LA Convention Center as part of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Conference, followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
January 2018 (date TBA) in Clarksdale, MS. Clarksdale Film & Music Festival.
January 2018 (date TBA) in Salt Lake City, UT. Screening followed by Q & A at the Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, January 4-7.
February 7, 2018 in College Park, PA. Screening and Q & A at Penn State University.
February 25, 2018 in Manhattan, KS. Screening and Q & A at Kansas State University.
February 2018 (date TBA) in San Antonio, TX. Black History Month Celebration at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram and Associate Producer Sonja Lanehart.
February 2018 (date TBA) in Palo Alto, CA. Black History Month Celebration at Stanford University. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram and Associate Producer John R. Rickford.
April 20, 2018 in Blacksburg, VA. Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL).
Thursday, March 23rd 7pm Raleigh, NC. Hunt Library Auditorium, NC State Campus screening to be followed by a panel discussion about the film. Panelists: Shirlette Ammons, a poet and musician based in Durham, Kwesi Craig C. Brookins, Associate Professor of Psychology and Africana Studies at NC State University, and Walt Wolfram, Professor of English Linguistics at NC State University.
Wednesday, March 29th 4:30pm West Lafayette, IN. Purdue University presentation by Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Tuesday, April 4th 7pm Raleigh, NC. Witherspoon 126 (Washington Sankofa Room) on NC State Campus. Screening and panel discussion about the ways language discrimination interacts with other forms of discrimination in the American justice system (NC State’s final Common Reading event of the year). Panelists: Vernetta Alston, Attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Jim Coleman, Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke University, and Walt Wolfram, Professor of English Linguistics at NC State University.
Thursday, April 6th 2pm St. Louis, MO. University of Missouri screening and presentation by Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
Monday, April 10th 7pm Cullowhee, NC. UC Theater at Western Carolina University. Screening followed by Q+A with film producers Walt Wolfram and Danica Cullinan.
Tuesday, April 18th 9am Raleigh, NC. WG Enloe High School screening followed by Q+A with film producers Walt Wolfram and Danica Cullinan.
Tuesday, June 6th 5:30pm Columbus, OH. COSI’s Galaxy Theater screening followed by conversation with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram from NCSU, Associate Professor of Speech and Hearing Science Monique Mills from OSU, and Professor of Literary Studies Elaine Richardson from OSU.
Tuesday, June 27th 10am in Raleigh, NC. Park Shops Room 210 at NC State. Emerging Scholars Academy Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram.
From “Talking Black in America”