As an indigenous speaker of African American Language, an educator-researcher and a parent, I am grateful for this powerful documentary that lifts veil of distortion and denigration from the subject of our heritage language. The E-Word is powerful investigative filmmaking that achieves a most noble and urgent purpose: freeing our minds. It will be useful for educating students, teachers, parents and community leaders, including speakers of our language.
Joyce E. King
President, The American Educational Research Association
Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning & Leadership
Georgia State University
This long-needed documentary provides important and insightful information about one of the most significant educational, linguistic, and cultural events in the history of African American English or Ebonics! Can’t wait to use it in my classes!
John R. Rickford
J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Humanities
Pritzker University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
The E-Word provides something that no other film, book, or media coverage has provided: the actual voices and stories of those directly involved in the Oakland Unified School District’s Ebonics proposal. The E-Word finally allows us to understand what was behind the proposal and what happened in the midst of the controversy over educating Black children whose first language is African American Language. As both sides passionately debate, it is clear that ultimately all involved in forming the policy and protesting it were concerned with changing the trajectory of Black children who had been overlooked, mislabeled, and ignored. Even more significant, The E-Word brings linguistic scholars’ voices and knowledge to the discussion, deftly articulating that linguistics is a science that has a knowledge base beyond the everyday use and understanding of the average person. The E-Word is a must-see for anyone who educates and cares about the education and well-being of Black children who use the language of their culture, community, and identity.
Sonja L. Lanehart
Professor and Brackenridge Endowed Chair of Literature and the Humanities
University of Texas San Antonio
The E-Word provides a lucid account of the linguistic and educational controversy that resulted from misconceptions about black language and how best to educate African American students in Oakland and other major urban cities.
Margaret Bush Wilson Professor
Washington University St. Louis