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Black Slang - Clarence Major

Black Slang - Clarence Major

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BLACK SLANG Here is a lively and unique collection of words and expressions used by the black community in the United States.

The entries are taken from every-day conversations in the black community, biographies, films, periodicals and the compiler's own black experience. In the Introduction, Clarence Major focuses on the social and economic impetus of a language whose so-called charm and novelty have been widely recognised.

He demonstrates that Afro-American slang actually operates on many levels and is characterised by what he describes as 'a whole sense of violent unhappiness in operation'. He goes on to write of the importance of black slang: 'this private vocabulary of black people serves as a powerful medium of self-defence against a world demanding participation while at the same time laying a boobytrap-network of rejection and exploitation'.

Artist and writer Clarence Major grew up in Chicago and later received his Ph.D. from the Union Institute in Ohio. He has been a judge for the National Book Awards and was twice named to the panel of the National Endowment of the Arts.

Major has written eight novels including "Such Was The Season" and "Painted Turtle," which received citations from the New York Times Book Review as Summer Reading and Notable Book of the Year, and "My Amputations," which received the Western States Book Award. Major published "Juba Jive: A Dictionary of African American Slang," as well as nine other books of poetry that won a National Council of the Arts Award and two Pushcart Prizes.

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