"sounding black"

Sonja L. Lanehart lanehart at ARCHES.UGA.EDU
Wed Jan 23 12:05:23 UTC 2002

ABC News did a story on this issue based on John Baugh's research on
housing discrimination. The term used by Baugh is linguistic
profiling. There is a web site address you can go to at abcnews.com
that has more information. Baugh is part of a defendant's lawsuit
concerning housing discrimination based on his linguistic profiling
argument; i.e., he didn't get the house because the realtors didn't
want to sell to a Black person (they knew he was Black by the way he
sounded on the phone alone). The url is:


>  >>> laurieOwens at MSN.COM 01/22/02 19:15 PM >>>
>I am a student at the University of Washington, School of Law.  I am
>currently writing my analytic on a Kentucky case that admitted testimony
>of a police officer that the defendant "sounded black".  The only man
>that was black in a house was arrested based on the police officers
>"description".  The police officer never saw the defendant until trial.
>The defendant was convicted based on this "identification".  Outrageous,
>My contention is that whoever the police officer heard "sounded
>inner-city".  I am looking for studies that have run blind tests to
>identify the race of American dialect speakers and any associated
>articles.  I know that some blacks can "sound white" and some whites
>(specifically inner-city) do "sound black".  (Whatever that really
>Time is of the essence.  Any help you can give me would be greatly
>Laurie Owens

Sonja L. Lanehart
Department of English                   706-542-2260 (office)
University of Georgia                   706-542-1261 (dept.)
300 Park Hall                           706-542-2181 (fax)
Athens, GA 30602-6205     http://www.arches.uga.edu/~lanehart

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