The Drug Enforcement Agency (Atlanta region) is looking for nine special people who can translate ebonics into English. An agency official claims that there is nothing “racial” about the job. Really??! For those who may be unfamiliar with “Ebonics,” it was originally used to describe the language of individuals descended from Black African slaves, and has since been referred to as “African American Vernacular English.” So, yeah, I would say race does play a part in this. Following the 1996 Oakland California school board case, in which they claimed “black English” was a separate language, there has been much debate over whether it actually is a language or dialect. Some have even claimed that Ebonics is “failure to grasp the English language.”
In any case, an agency official says that Eminem is, “one of the best speakers of Ebonics there ever was.” He goes on to say, “There are words that people use that I never used. It’s a dialect that certain people use, and we see a need for it.” Hopefully they can find some individuals who can crack this tricky dialect.