The worst of all possible things that could happen would be to lose that language [that black people love so much]. There are certain things I cannot say without recourse to my language. It’s terrible to think that a child with five different present tenses comes to school to be faced with those books that are less than his own language. And then to be told things about his language, which is him, that are sometimes permanently damaging… This is a really cruel fallout of racism. I know the Standard English. I want to use it to help restore the other language, the lingua franca.
1. He ø runnin. Standard American English (SAE )= He is running.
2. He be runnin. SAE = He is usually running or He will/would be running.
3. He be steady runnin. SAE = He is usually running in an intensive, sustained manner, or He will/would be running in an intensive, sustained manner.
4. He(’s) been/bin runnin. SAE He has been running–at some earlier point, but probably not now.
Other examples: I been knowing her. SAE = I have known her.
About eleven o’clock he been eating. SAE = … he was eating.
5. He BEEN/BIN runnin’. SAE = He has been running for a long time, and still is.
-This is a use of the African American English (AAE) stressed been/remote BIN.
My mother Toni Morrison on AAVE (via howtobeterrell)
this is for whoever was telling me that AAVE isn’t a real thing… UGH
Note how precise each AAVE phrase is.
Cries from perfection
For anyone who thinks aave is just slang.
This is why non-Black POC, especially white folks who’ve never been in a room with a Black person, get it so wrong with the habitual Be and stressed Been; y’all don’t understand or respect that it’s a language and not just ‘lazy’ speech or slang. We know that it’s structured and nuanced. You can’t just pick that ish up and act like you’re hip if you’re not. It’s also important we let our children in the education system know that this is a valid language and one that teachers should be familiar with when teaching.