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The African Vocal Apparatus

Thursday, November 7, 2013


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From Werner’s Magazine, March, 1895.—It is not hard to find evidence that these peculiar ideas persist in American culture today; without thinking about it, many Americans take the existence of a distinctive African-American accent as evidence of some physical rather than cultural difference. (The accent is an American cultural phenomenon: by voice alone, it is not usually possible to tell an Englishman of African descent from an Englishman of European descent.) Thirty years after this little article, jazz was all the rage, and racial theorists occupied themselves with explaining why the Negro was a natural instrumentalist.

English As She Is Wrote

Saturday, July 27, 2013


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From The Strand Magazine, December, 1900.