Mike Adams

Of course, if a white teacher is going to teach black kids, she needs to learn how to curse like they do. Here, Professor Martinez is brilliant. He informs us that while whites use the terms “mother” and “brother,” blacks often prefer to say “muvah” and “bruvah.” Maurice even gives a sample sentence: “My muvah cook grits.” But he cautions that when using profanity in conjunction with the “F-word” it is best to pronounce “mother” properly.

Well, I’ll be a muvah f----r! I mean, I’ll be a mother f-----r!

Maurice, the tenured education professor, also informs students that when using plurals it is not necessary to add an “s” in Black English. That’s why a paper costs “50 cent,” not “50 cents.” Is this making sense? Or do we say “making cent”?

All of this is getting so confusing I’m thinking about taking a trip to the public library to confirm the existence of a thing called “Black English.” But Maurice cautions that “library” is a white way of saying things. Blacks say “liberry” – that is, those who speak Black English.

I already knew many words in Black English before I perused Professor Martinez’ class notes. For example, I knew “before” was “fo” and “fifty” was “fitty.” But I have to admit that I never knew that “corner” was “cornda.” Now I can say “Look at that ho on the cornda. I never seen that ho ‘fo.” The possibilities are endless in the world of multiculturalism and diversity!

But Black English can be used to avoid conflicts, according to Professor Martinez. Specifically, one can help avoid fights if one is aware of certain “fighting words” in Black English. For example, the white teacher should be on guard if she hears “why you trippin’?” or “shut up ‘fo I spaz on you.” Apparently, that’s even worse than when a redneck says “you ain’t no count.”

But not everything that seems like a clue to a fight really is a clue to a fight. For example, “yeah, he packin’” would seem to mean “he has a gun.” But in Black English, according to Professor Martinez’ notes, it could just mean “yes, he’s well endowed.”

When white students are done with their homework, Professor Martinez may decide to ask them “Did you do your homework?” In response, he has taught them the correct Black English answer: “Teacher, I been done did dat.”

After sending their kids to study education at UNC-Wilmington, many parents may decide they want their tuition money back. Thankfully, Maurice teaches 18 ways to say “money” in Black English: Book, bread, cake, cash, cheddar, cheese, chump change, coins, crumbs, dough, eagle, fitty, green, jingle, loot, moola, scrilla, and Benjamin.

I recommend that parents, black or white, call UNC-Wilmington and say “I want my chump back, ‘cause Professor Martinez is whack!” Or, to make it less personal, they could say “I want my scrilla, ‘fo rilla!”

I’ve always said that within higher education the idiots have taken over the asylum. But, now that I know Black English, I guess I’ll just say the dizzy have taken over the hizzie.


Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.