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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Black English in Literature


BE is increasingly being encountered in literature, televised and filmed drama, etc., as 'authentic' speech of Black American history

Alice Walker in Color Purple

From The Color Purple, by Alice Walker [1982] (p. 3)

Dear God,
My mama dead. She die screaming and cussing. She scream at me. She cuss at me. I'm big. I can't move fast enough. By time I git back from the well, the water be warm. By time I git the tray ready the food be cold. By time I git all the children ready for school it be dinner time. He don't say nothing. He set there by the bed holding her hand and cryin, talking bout don't leave me, don't go.
She ast me bout the first one. Whose it is? I say God's. I don't know no other man or what else to say. When I start to hurt and then my stomach start moving and then that little baby come out my pussy chewing on it fist you could have knock me over with a feather.

Don't nobody come see us.
She got sicker and sicker.
Finally she ask Where it is?
I say God took it.
He took it. He took it while I was sleeping. Kilt it out there in the woods.
Kill this one too, if he can.

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