We all can agree that African American culture influences everything. From our fashion, food, hairstyles, and African American Vernacular English (AAVE) language or Ebonics. We already have an online Urban Dictionary individuals can use, but now, there will be an official Oxford Dictionary of African American English.
The new dictionary will have the editorial guidance of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard University professor and historian. Gates stated the dictionary won’t just include spellings and definitions but create a historical record. It will also serve as a tribute to the people behind the words. In addition, he also explained, “[that] just the way Louis Armstrong took the trumpet and turned it inside out from the way people played European classical music. Black people took English and ‘reinvented it’ to make it reflect their sensibilities and to make it mirror their cultural selves.”
“Many scholars have compiled dictionaries of African American usage and vocabulary. However, no one has had the resources to undertake a large-scale, systematic study, based on historical principles, of the myriad contributions that African Americans have made to the shape and structure of the English language that Americans speak today.
We can expect words such as crib, kitchen (hair reference), side hustle, diss, hop, and more. The new dictionary releases in 2025.