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By Keith Gilyard

A particular mix of memoir and scholarship, Keith Gilyard's Voices of the Self is a penetrating research of the linguistic and cultural "collision" skilled via African-American scholars within the public schooling process. Gilyard examines black scholars "negotiate" their approach via institution and discusses the stress among using Black English and traditional English, underlining how that stress is consultant of the deeper clash that exists among black tradition and white expectancies. brilliant descriptions-often funny, occasionally aggravating, regularly moving-of Gilyard's personal youth reports in class and society are interlaced with chapters of reliable sociolinguistic scholarship.

Encompassing the views of either the "street" and the "academy," Voices of the Self offers an eloquent argument for cultural and linguistic pluralism in American public schools.

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What do you think, Susan? Can you trust him? " "No. " "I don't know. " "Well I can't let him do that. I'd have to kick him out of here before I let him do that. As a matter of fact, if you don't think you can feel comfortable around him, I can still move him. " Susan pointed her shiner directly at me and I lowered my head. Might be kissing 149 goodbye. She spoke very deliberately. "Let him stay. . " "And you'll feel safe? " "1'11 be all right, Mr. " he said smilingly. " The principal rose to escort Susan from the office.

I even had an opportunity to show off for my father. He showed up on one of those parents' observation days in a brown suit with a gray Ban-Lon shirt and a tan raincoat. When he came through the door all heads turned toward me. " Pops didn't bother to look my way, simply nodded to the teacher and strode swiftly to the back of the room where several other parents were already gathered. We were working with the calendar. It was the fourteenth and Mrs. Lehrman wanted to know who could show her which date was exactly one week away.

I wanted to grab hold of one of Mr. Price's baggy trouser legs like it was a mother's apron, but I couldn't allow myself to show that much fear. I wished Sherry would come in but when I realized she wouldn't I wished the same shock on her wherever she went. O r worse. It's like they were trying to stare me back out of the room. Goldstein. Rubin. Landau. Weiss. Cohen. I knew next to nothing about kids like that. Only saw them on the subway a couple of times and in the doctor's office downtown. My eyes frantically searched theirs, trying to find some sign I could translate into friendliness.

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