Fractured Lingua Franca

At first glance, a poster with the aggressive headline “I has a dream” appears to be a racial put-down.
The purpose of the work by Atlanta’s Austin Kelley Advertising for a group of local minority professionals, however, is to speak out against Ebonics, or “black English.”
“We’ve spent over 400 years fighting for the right to have a voice. Is this how we’ll use it?” reads the body copy. “Would Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and all the others who paid the price of obtaining our voice . . . embrace this?”
Lee St. James, who recently left his post as vice president and creative group head at Austin Kelley, said the point is not to stop black slang, but to ensure kids are not being taught Ebonics in the classroom.
The poster is displayed in several Atlanta schools and may run in ads in local minority-owned publications.
St. James worked on the piece with copywriter Krystal Falkner and photographer Robert Rostick.
-Katy Eckmann