Dr. Lisa Delpit (mother) is currently Southern University College of Education Felton G. Clark Distinguished Professor. Her honors are many including the 1993 Outstanding Contribution to Education Award (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and the 1990 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. She is perhaps best-known for her influential scholarship including Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom and The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom which she edited with Joanne Dowdy.
Maya Delpit (daughter) is an absolute phenomenon. It takes only a moment to recognize how insightful, thoughtful and brilliant she is.
In The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom, Dr. Delpit eloquently addresses the “painful ambivalence” that she felt in response to Maya’s use of what many call “Ebonics.” Dr. Delpit tells us that this ambivalence
is less a rejection of the language form created by my people, and more a mother’s protective instinct to insure that her child’s camouflage is in order when she must encounter potential enemy forces.
In this clip, we discuss the politics of language, parenting and “code-switching.”