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Black Language Matters: The Role of Linguistics in Addressing Social and Racial Inequality

August 29, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT

The Baton Foundation, in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, is excited to offer a lecture about language and social and racial inequity. This program is free to the public, but registration is required.

About the Program

What role does language play in the Black Lives Matter movement? How can language, from the words we use to the way our voices sound, affect the ways in which People of Color (POC) engage with social institutions? In this talk, Dr. Nicole Holliday will discuss research on language use in Black communities, language as a tool of empowerment and/or oppression, and linguistic racial profiling. She will also discuss her own recent research about what it means to “sound Black” and how language is a crucial part of identity, especially for individuals from historically disenfranchised groups. Finally, Dr. Holliday will challenge participants to think through the ways in which language affects (in)equality in their own communities.

About Nicole Holliday

Dr. Nicole Holliday is an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from New York University in 2016, where she wrote a dissertation entitled “Intonational Variation, Linguistic Style and the Black/Biracial Experience.” Her research focuses on what it means to sound Black, both phonetically and socially, and from the perspectives of both speakers and listeners. Her work has appeared in scholarly venues such as Journal of Sociolinguistics, Laboratory Phonology, and American Speech. She has also made appearances in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Washington Post.

Register for Zoom Lecture Here


August 29, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
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