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February 2019

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In this month’s Griots Republic, we are exploring our love of languages!

When we first decided to do an issue on this theme, we were concerned that we wouldn’t have enough content. However, as you start drilling down into languages you begin to realize how fluid and all-encompassing our ability to communicate is. Global languages and how people use them to effectively transmit ideas and thoughts is one of the most complex themes we’ve tackled. Why? Because language is constantly changing. Physically, languages and words are ceasing to exist because of our lack of use and emotionally, how we wield words changes daily based on anything from the religious climate to the political. Yet, like endangered animals, the history attached to the origins of each language is essential to us understand where we come from and how we interact.

So where do you start? Home, of course.

In the article, “African Origins of Common English Words,” we asked Dr.Farooq Kperogi, Professor of journalism at Kennesaw State University, to walk us through some of the words in the English language that can be attributed to our Ancestors brought to the U.S in the slave trade. You might be surprised at the everyday words we use and how they developed. Then, we take a look at the evolution of language in the article, “Coining New Languages.” In this article, the author looks at both the extinction and creation of new languages but contends that eventually, the world will speak only one language. Please take a look at the article and let us know in the comments which language do you think we’re heading towards.

Of course, we also have quite a few articles on Black Polyglots, specifically Opera singer Claudette Hatcher and Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither of African American Linguists (AAL). We also have articles on where you need to travel this spring, but frankly, if you don’t walk away from this issue with an itch to learn a new tongue, then we’ve failed you. We hope that isn’t the case.

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