POSTPONED due to COVID-19 Keynote address at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium (STARS), this film and discussion addresses the creativity and resilience of people living through oppression, segregation, the fight for equality, and the powerful identity forged by a shared heritage are all expressed in the ways African Americans communicate. TALKING BLACK in AMERICA chronicles the incredible impact of African American English on American language and culture. Filmed across the United States and beyond, this documentary is a revelation of language as legacy, identity and triumph over adversity. The executive producer, Professor Walt Wolfram, a world-renowned sociolinguistics researcher and educator, will answer questions and discuss African American language variation and its social implications.
Dr. Wolfram is William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University, where he also directs the North Carolina Language and Life Project. He has pioneered research on social and ethnic dialects since the 1960s and published 23 books and over 300 articles. Over the last two decades, he and his students have conducted more than 3,500 sociolinguistic interviews with residents of North Carolina and beyond, primarily under funding from the National Science Foundation. In addition to his research interests, Professor Wolfram is particularly interested in the application of sociolinguistic information to the public, including the production of a number of television documentaries, the construction of museum exhibits, and the development of an innovative formal and informal materials related to language diversity. He has received numerous awards, including the North Carolina Award (the highest award given to a citizen of North Carolina), Caldwell Humanities Laureate from the NC Humanities Council, the Holladay Medal at NC State, the Linguistics, Language and the Public Award from the Linguistic Society of America. and the Board of Governors' Holshauser Award for Public Service. He has also served as President of the Linguistic Society of America, the American Dialect Society, and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.