Historically Black Phrases

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A fun and thoughtful dictionary of Black language you didn’t know you needed, Historically Black Phrases is a love letter to the Black community and the ways it drives culture.

Black vernacular doesn’t often get its due—despite its enormous influence on mainstream culture—but Historically Black Phrases is here to give Black language its flowers. A celebration of more than two hundred staples of Black conversation—from church sayings and units of measure to compliments and reprimands—this sharp and witty guide explores the unique importance of Black expression and communication. Historically Black Phrases offers definitions and notable pop culture moments, as well as tips on pronunciation and usage of phrases like “feelin’ yourself,” “don’t get it twisted,” and “pop off.” In addition to the phrases, short essays offer insight on different facets of Black language from scholars, entertainers, and pop culture commentators (i.e., everybody and they mama). 

Authors, journalists, and hosts of the award-winning podcast FANTI, jarrett hill and Tre’vell Anderson examine each phrase with humor and cultural precision, making Historically Black Phrases a vital ode to how Black language influences the world.