Synopsis

Talking Black in America follows the unique circumstances of the descendants of American slaves and their incredible impact on American life and language. Speech varieties from the African American community reflect the imprint of African language systems, the influences of regional British and Southern American dialects, and the creativity and resilience of people living through oppression, segregation and the fight for equality. Filmed across the United States, Talking Black in America is a startling revelation of language as legacy, identity and triumph over adversity. With Reverend Jeremiah Wright, DJ Nabs, Professor Griff, Quest M.C.O.D.Y., Dahlia the Poet, Nicky Sunshine and many others.

 

“The status of African American speech has been controversial for more than a half-century now, suffering from persistent public misunderstanding, linguistic profiling, and language-based discrimination. We wanted to address that and, on a fundamental level, make clear that understanding African American speech is absolutely critical to understanding the way we talk today.”
-Walt Wolfram

 

“African-American language is central to American life, yet it continues to be widely misunderstood and marginalized. A new documentary from the Language and Life Project at NC State draws on decades of research to remedy our understanding.”
– NC State News

 
 

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 26, 6:30pm – Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville State University

Screening followed by Q+A with film producer Danica Cullinan

Facebook event page

Thursday, September 28, 6:30 pm – New York, NY

Cantor Film Center (Theater 102) at New York University

Screening followed by talkback and Q+A with Linguists Dr. Renee Blake, Dr. Jamila Lyiscott, and Dr. Cecelia Cutler

RSVP for this event

Friday, September 29, 2:30 pm – Columbia, SC

The Russell House Theater at the University of South Carolina

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram and Associate Producer Tracey Weldon

Saturday, October 7, 3:30pm – Athens, GA

Linguistic Conference of the University of Georgia (LCUGA4)

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Screening is free and open to the public, LCUGA4 requests that attendees register for the conference

Thursday, October 19 – Denton, TX

University of North Texas

Screening followed by Q+A with Associate Producer Patricia Cukor-Avila and Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Friday, October 20 – Dallas, TX

Summer Institute of Linguistics

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Thursday, October 26 – Ann Arbor, MI

University of Michigan

Screening followed by Q+A with rapper Quest MCODY (@questmcody) and Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Friday, November 3, 4pm – Lynchburg, VA

The Hopwood Auditorium at Lynchburg College

Screening as part of the Race, Poverty, and Social Justice Conference, with discussion and q&a to follow.

Saturday, November 4 – Madison, WI

New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) Conference at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Sunday, November 5, 3pm – Atlanta, GA

The Baton Foundation in collaboration with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History

Screening followed by Q+A with Poet and Musician Derrick ABYSS Graham (teamabysslive.com), DJ and Record Producer DJ Nabs (djnabs.com), and Associate Producer and Linguist Tracey Weldon. More information about this event on The Baton Foundation website

Wednesday, November 8 – Los Angeles, CA

California State University

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Thursday, November 9, 7:45 pm – Los Angeles, CA

LA Convention Center with the American Speech Language Hearing Association

Screening (open to conference attendees) followed by Q+A with Language and Literacy Expert Noma LeMoine, Speech Pathologist Sandra Jackson, and Executive Producer Walt Wolfram
Register for the conference

January 2018 (date TBA) – Clarksdale, MS

Thursday, January 4, 7:30pm – Salt Lake City, UT

Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting

Screening followed by panel discussion and Q+A

Monday, February 5 – Amherst, MA.

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Screening followed by Q+A with Associate Producer Lisa Green and Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Wednesday, February 7 – College Park, PA

Penn State University

Screening followed by Q+A with Walt Wolfram

Wednesday, February 14 – Claremont, CA

Pomona College

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram and Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science Nicole Holliday

Sunday, February 25 – Manhattan, KS

Kansas State University

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

February 2018 (date TBA) – San Antonio, TX

University of Texas at San Antonio, Black History Month Celebration

Screening followed by Q+A with executive producer Walt Wolfram and Associate Producer Sonja Lanehart

February 2018 (date TBA) – Palo Alto, CA

Stanford University, Black History Month Celebration

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram and Associate Producer John Rickford

March 2018 (date TBA) – Raleigh, NC

North Carolina Speech, Hearing, and Language Association Annual Conference

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Tuesday, April 10 – Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Wednesday, April 11 – Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Thursday, April 12 – Louisville, KY

University of Louisville

Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Friday, April 20 – Blacksburg, VA

South Eastern Conference on Linguistics

Screening followed by Q+A

Request a Screening

We are seeking community partners to host a series of special screening events across the country. Let us know if you want to bring Talking Black in America to your town.

PAST EVENTS

Thursday, March 23 at 7pm at Hunt Library Auditorium on NC State Campus Screening followed by a panel discussion about the film. Panelists: Shirlette Ammons, a poet and musician based in Durham, Kwesi Craig C. Brookins, Associate Professor of Psychology and Africana Studies at NC State University, and Walt Wolfram, Professor of English Linguistics at NC State University

Wednesday, March 29 at 4:30pm at Purdue University Presentation by Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Tuesday, April 4 at 7pm in Witherspoon 126 (Washington Sankofa Room) on NC State Campus Screening and panel discussion about the ways language discrimination interacts with other forms of discrimination in the American justice system (NC State’s final Common Reading event of the year). Panelists: Vernetta Alston, Attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Jim Coleman, Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke University, and Walt Wolfram, Professor of English Linguistics at NC State University

Thursday, April 6 at 2pm at the University of Missouri at St. Louis Presentation by Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Monday, April 10 at 7pm at the UC Theater at Western Carolina University Screening followed by Q+A with film producers Walt Wolfram and Danica Cullinan

Tuesday, April 18 at 9am at WG Enloe High School in Raleigh, NC Screening followed by Q+A with film producers Walt Wolfram and Danica Cullinan

Tuesday, June 6 at 5:30pm at COSI’s Galaxy Theater in Columbus, OH Screening followed by conversation with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram from NCSU, Associate Professor of Speech and Hearing Science Monique Mills from OSU, and Professor of Literary Studies Elaine Richardson from OSU

Tuesday, June 27 at 10am – Raleigh, NC Emerging Scholars Academy at NC State, Park Shops Room 210. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Monday, July 17 – Lexington, KY Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Wednesday, July 26 at 12pm – Raleigh, NC Caldwell Lounge at North Carolina State University. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Tuesday, September 12 at 5 pm – College Park, MD The Language Science Center at the University of Maryland. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Thursday, September 14, 7pm – Durham, NC
The School of Education Auditorium at North Carolina Central University. Screening followed by Q+A with Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Friday, September 15 – Nantucket, MA
The Nantucket Project
Screening and presentation by Executive Producer Walt Wolfram

Friday, September 22, 3pm – Washington D.C.
The ICC Auditorium at Georgetown University. Screening followed by Q+A with Linguist Minnie Quartey Annan, Professor Dennis Williams, and Executive Producer Walt Wolfram