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The John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy

John McWhorter 

John H. McWhorter is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. Born in Philadelphia, he earned a master's degree in American Studies at NYU and received his Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford University in 1993.  He specializes in pidgin and creole languages, particularly of the Caribbean, and is the author of Toward a New Model of Creole Genesis, which is an introduction to language change, language mixture, and dialects worldwide for the general public. He has been interviewed widely on language use, the Ebonics controversy, and modern race issues in America by leading programs and publications including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times, and Newsweek. Professor McWhorter’s most recent book, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America (2001), is an examination into the cultural problems facing African American students that are generated from within the community. Some of his other books include The Word On The Street: Fact And Fiction About American English (1998), and The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Creole Languages (2000).

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