Ebonics, which stands for Ebony and Phonics, is the common term used to describe African American Vernacular English, or many of the other names it has been called in the last 350 years. It has been in the news more recently, but definitely is not a new topic. Throughout the development of Ebonics, there are many patterns that were created when the African slaves learned the English language. .
History experts estimate that around 1619 ships collected slaves and brought them to the United States. These slaves were not from one nation, but many, and they spoke many different languages. Some of these tribes spoke Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa. They were separated when captured and made travel with people they could not understand. .
These slaves had to learn English in order to communicate with their masters. Their native language and English would be combined and they would be able to develop a combination African-English language. There are three popular theories of the development of Ebonics. It is not known which is the way it actually developed but all have valid truths and have been extensively researched.
First of which is Ebonics developed out of contact between African languages and English. The African’s exposure to English was very limited and was most likely from the few encounters with indentured farmers on the plantations on which they worked. The second one is Ebonics developed out of contact between African languages and English. The Africans then blended their own native language with English. This would be the equivalent of poor English and excellent use of their native language. And the final theory is Ebonics developed out of contact between African languages and English. The Africans then blended their own native language with English. This type of blending would be the equivalent of poor English and poor use of their native language as well (Zapetillo).
Ebonics (Black street slang) has been in the news quite a bit lately because of the decision made by the Oakland, CA school board to bring it to the schools.