Just thought I should point out (though I find it unusual that you wouldn't know this, considering your "doctorate in languages") that "aks" was actually the original pronunciation of what is now accepted as "ask".
The word "ask" originally came from the word "acsian". By the time people settled North America in the 1400's though, the word had been shortened to "aks". Like with many words (especially those combining the "s" and "c" sounds) metathesis occured, and some people began to pronounce the word as "ask".
Because of animosity between the North and the South, the North started consistently pronouncing it as "ask" and put pressure on the public school system to have it taught that way as well. "Aks" became stigmatized as the "souther/uneducated" pronunciation, though at this point had yet to be associated with African Americans.
Ultimately, under pressure fromthe North, all public schools(PS) adopted that pronunciation. Because african americans were not allowed access to PS at that time, they continued to learn that it was pronounced as "ask".
It's less a matter of "ebonics" as it is your lack of historical knowledge. Get educated love :)
In reference to the use of "aks" as an example of the controversial term "ebonics", AKS and ASK were for a long time both accepted ways to pronounce what is now most widely accepted as "Ask"
2009. február 13.