Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English by Sonja L. Lanehart Book Resume:
This volume, based on presentations at a 1998 state of the art conference at the University of Georgia, critically examines African American English (AAE) socially, culturally, historically, and educationally. It explores the relationship between AAE and other varieties of English (namely Southern White Vernaculars, Gullah, and Caribbean English creoles), language use in the African American community (e.g., Hip Hop, women's language, and directness), and application of our knowledge about AAE to issues in education (e.g., improving overall academic success). To its credit (since most books avoid the issue), the volume also seeks to define the term 'AAE' and challenge researchers to address the complexity of defining a language and its speakers. The volume collectively tries to help readers better understand language use in the African American community and how that understanding benefits all who value language variation and the knowledge such study brings to our society.