John McWhorter is the author of several books, including What Language Is (and What It Isn't and What It Could Be).

John McWhorter

John McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He earned his PhD in linguistics from Stanford University in 1993 and became associate professor of linguistics at UC Berkeley after teaching at Cornell University. He was senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute from 2002 until 2010. He is the author of What Language Is (and What It Isn’t and What It Could Be)The Power of Babel: A Natural History of LanguageDoing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music in America and Why We Should, Like, Care and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: Untold Stories in the History of English, as well as Authentically BlackWinning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America, and All About the Beat: Why Hip Hop Can’t Save Black America. He is also contributing editor for The New Republic, columnist for The New York Daily News and has been contributing editor at and City Journal.

Articles from Contributor

Is ‘Black Pete’ Racist?

They’ve been on my living-room shelf for a year now — wrapped chocolate candy figurines from the Netherlands of Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete. A friend who lived there for a while gave them to me in irony. Black Pete is a …

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