"BLACK TALK IN USUALLY SPOKEN IN GHETTOS BUT LATER ADOPTED, COMMERCIALIZED AND SPREAD… IT IS THE MOST DOMINANT LANGUAGE TODAY": FIRST EDITION OF THE BANKS DICTIONARY OF THE BLACK GHETTO LANGUAGE, 1975
BANKS, Carl J., Jr. Banks Dictionary of the Black Ghetto Language. Los Angeles, California: Saidi, 1975. Slim octavo, original black-stamped pictorial yellow wrappers. $1500.
First edition of this concise 1970s dictionary of "Black Talk," or African-American Vernacular English.
Written by a Navy veteran from Los Angeles, this work attempts to bring African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) into the mainstream, arguing that "[t]here needs to be courses in all schools entitled BLACK TALK." Banks' dictionary includes 521 entries roughly arranged by subject including everything from euphemisms to insults to fashion terminology. Banks was among the earliest to recognize the growing acceptability of AAVE and has often been cited in dictionaries that deal with contemporary usage such as The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English.
Interior fine, slightest spotting and mild toning to wrappers. A nearly fine copy.