A Linguistic Celebration: Because Code Switching Is Articulate

“You’re so articulate” may sound like a compliment. But when it’s said by a white person to a black person, there’s an unspoken racist element at work. It becomes, “You don’t sound like those other black people.”

Watch Jamilia Lyiscott explain why the dialect of English she speaks in the classroom is no more valid than the ones she uses on the street or with her family.

Jamila Lyiscott is an advanced doctoral candidate and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College where her work focuses on the education of the African Diaspora. She is also an adjunct professor at Long Island University where she teaches on adult and adolescent literacy within the Urban Education system. A spoken word artist since the age of fifteen, Jamila works with youth, educators, and activists throughout the city to create spaces that reflect and engage the cultures and values of black and brown youth inside and outside of the classroom. Follow her on Twitter @BlackRelevance.