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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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compete in the larger culture in which they're going to operate. And when people tell me about Black English, I say, look, a telephone operator isn't going to be restricted to blacks. A telephone operator has to be understood and be able to understand the general population. I mean, it's like talking about maintaining foreign accents and idioms of our immigrants. We didn't do that. We sought to acculturate. We sought to get the children of our immigrants to become a part of the American culture. Now that does not mean that there are not regions of the country that you can recognize their accent, but you know that they're speaking English. For example, in New England, in Massachusetts, there's a special-- and in the South we have Southern accents. But aside from the regional accents, language is a form of communication that has to be understood.

Now if you were going to restrict the communication to certain people-- well, even within that restricted group, they have to understand each other. See, I guess what you're hearing, you're hearing me express my incorrigible integrationist position. No other group was ever looked upon in the educational system as a group that should have restricted communication, that I know of. And I think that if that's true, then there's no reason why that should be any less so for blacks.


Well, what are your observations of some of the blacks that recommend that this be done? And I believe there are even some in the teaching cadre that recommend this.

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