The Department of Justice has put out a call for Ebonics translators to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to documents released by The Smoking Gun. The DOJ wants to hire up to nine people to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division. Ebonics is considered one of 114 different "common" and "exotic" languages for which prospective contractors must be able to provide linguists; Ebonics is listed as a “common language” spoken solely in the U.S.

Ebonics has caused controversy in the language community between advocates such as Stanford University professor of linguistics John R. Rickford, who described it as “Black English,” and detractors who consider it a bastardization of the English language (including some particularly venomous posters on freerepublic). But the real question should be: is Ebonics the same thing as jive talk?