‘I, too, am America’: African American language, #blacklivesmatter, and critical (socio)linguistics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, my primary goals are to advocate for operationalizing theory into praxis and revolutionary action for social justice advocacy and activism in sociolinguistics, or Critical Sociolinguistics (CSLx), for the benefit of participants and the communities we study. I do so, as a Sociolinguist, in response and as a tribute to Prof. John Russell Rickford’s body of scholarship, but particularly two influential articles: ‘Unequal partnerships’ (1997b) and ‘Language and linguistics on trial: Hearing Rachel Jeantel (and other vernacular speakers) in the courtroom and beyond’ (with Sharese King 2016e). I pursue my primary goal by: (1) demonstrating why CSLx should be integral in academia, scholarship, interdisciplinary collaboration, and leadership; (2) showing how protest syllabuses, such as the #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus, can function as change agents in CSLx; (3) presenting a case study of teaching #BlackLivesMatter (#BLM) to provide an example of what can be some in classrooms; and (4) providing directions for future CSLx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to the Work of John R. Rickford
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780429765339
ISBN (Print)9781138370708
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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