Ohio Journal of English Language Arts
(First paragraph) In elementary school my favorite teachers taught me that the language used in my home was incorrect, incoherent, and inappropriate. My second grade teacher Ms. Hull, a tall, thin, dark-skinned woman, stands out among the others. I can still see her hovering over us. “Was!” Ms. Hull shouted, “not wuz. Your tongue is lazy.” “You be what?” she’d ask in disgust with one hand on her hip. When this happened, I was sure to get yelled at and lectured. To avoid such humiliation, I quickly learned to, as we said in my neighborhood, “talk proper.” Shame nagged at me. The way I talked was wrong; I was wrong; and so were my family and friends.
Original Publication Citation
Hinton-Johnson, K. (2005). Language use and the oral tradition in AAYA (African American young adult) literature. Ohio Journal of English Language Arts, 45(1), 21-28.
Hinton-Johnson, KaaVonia, "Language Use and the Oral Tradition in AAYA (African American Young Adult) Literature" (2005). Teaching & Learning Faculty Publications. 83.