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African American Linguists (AAL)

Promoting World Languages in the African American Community

Facebook Network Forum

AAL is making the transition from an organization to a network forum and we are using facebook as our members' forum. Please find and like us at and tell your friends who might share in our mission to do the same. Also feel free to post related photos, announcements, links to papers/presentations or information about events on our page.

AAL would love to learn a little more about you and why AAL is of interest to you.

Founded in 2004 by Spanish professors Tamari Jenkins and Krishauna Hines-Gaither. Since then there have been up to 80 members/supporters and dozens of students have been awarded scholarships. In 2012 the founders made the decision to transition the organization to a network. Members/network friends can come together to gain information, share research and collaborate on projects. This facebook page will serve as a forum where African Americans who are working/studying in the field of foreign languages will feel less isolation and a part of community that shares in this mission.

About AAL Network

AAL is a language network that is open to educators, professionals, missionaries, clergy, public service workers, students, and all others {of any ethnicity} who share our purpose. Given the influx of Spanish-speakers to the United States, the majority of our network has learned Spanish as their world language. AAL would like to emphasize that we welcome and appreciate less commonly taught/spoken languages that have been acquired by African-Americans. 

Visit our AAL Network page to see photos and quotes from our friends. Email your photos and quotes to the webmaster at [email protected]

2011 ACTFL Convention in Denver, CO. (Front Row L-R) ACTFL African-American Students Special Interest Group (AAS SIG) Chair, Richard de Meij (, Immediate ACTFL AAS SIG Past Chair, Tamari Jenkins, ACTFL AAS SIG Past Chair, Krishauna Hines-Gaither, President of Global Language Project, Harlem, NY, Angela Jackson. Accompanied by other convention attendees.

AAL Network Support

For Students Only (Requested donation):

  • $5 K-12 Student Network Donation
  • $10 College Student Network Donation 

For Educators, Professionals, Non-Students (Requested donation):

  • $20 Professional/General/Non-student Network Donation

For International Residents Living Outstide of the United States (Requested donation):

  • $25 International Resident Network Donation

Remit Donation Electronically

Remit Donations by Mail


  • Attn: Tamari Jenkins/African American Linguists (or AAL)
  • Chaffey College
  • Language Arts 107
  • 5885 Haven Ave.
  • Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737 

Benefits of the AAL Network

As AAL is a newly found organization, network donations to support this venture are imperative. Benefits of network donations include the following:

  • Networking with other professionals and organizations: Welcome to AAL. We are so elated about the establishment of this organization! As African-Americans working and studying in the field of world languages, we now have a place where we can coalesce, share our successes, learn from our challenges and pave the road for those who will come behind us. The primary goal of this organization is to promote world languages within the African-American community. We hope to be able to count on the support of all AAL network friends and we are open to any ideas and suggestions.
  • Annual AAL and Rhoda Joseph Scholarship of $700: The African American Linguists scholarship is given to an African American student who has demonstrated leadership and academic excellence while majoring or minoring in a world language. S/he should be one who is committed to the promotion of world languages within the African American community.
  • Annual meeting at the ACTFL conference each November: AAL holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) conference. The annual meeting enables AAL network friends to discuss current business, the year's accomplishments, and our goals for the future. Click here for details on next year's conference.

Special thanks to Dr. Lee Wilbershied, OH

AAL would like to acknowledge the contributions of Lee Wilberschied to the organization. AAL is a newly found organization (2004). For this reason, we welcome ideas and assistance from our network friends. Lee has been invaluable in helping to increase awareness of the organization, publishing announcements about AAL in the distinguished Foreign Language Annals of ACTFL and helping with research ventures. Lee has also contributed to the AAL annual scholarship fund.

Thank you so much Lee! 

Comments from AAL Members & Friends

  • "Being an African-American woman who is also Native-American and Caucasian, I am so excited that there is an organization that is addressing the specific needs of African-Americans." Faith Chiwawana, OH
  • "I encourage all African-Americans that I can to study a language. By joining AAL perhaps I can help in a more organized way in the future." Dr. Bobby Vaughn, CA
  • "I encourage everyone and the AAL organization as a whole to continue with this program. I think it is a wonderful idea to reach out to our society and introduce African Americans to other languages. People of African descent already speak all major languages. The MYTH that we speak mainly “English” should be left in the past and we all should add at least bilingual to the resume." Tim Burroughs
  • "The website is so lovely, as is the concept. I am not a linguist by profession. However, I am a lover of many languages with a strong desire to make a global impact, which will also be a dynamic byproduct of AAL." Nzengha Waseme
  • "The site looks wonderful and I am so proud of you women for getting it together. I expect big things both from you as co-founders but also from your membership as well. I am glad to be apart of something new and dynamic. I know that it will grow to be an organization more successful beyond your wildest dreams!" Ronda Green, NC
  • "Congratulations on your courage to be leaders in this foreign language movement. BRAVO!" Jameelah S. Muhammad


Click here to make donations.