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Why is it when a black person speaks properly, black people say that we are trying to be white?

When I was a kid and early in adulthood I used to speak slang and broken english because I didn't know any better. Now I'm a mom and approaching 28 years old and I'm setting an example for my child. I've learned how to speak better and I just find it so ignorant when my own race says that if another black person uses proper english, than we are trying to be white, as if we are supposed to speak using ebonics and hardcore slang. I think it's a shame that we as a race, have been brainswashed to feel we shouldn't read or speak in ways other than broken english.


Asked by browneyes27 at 6:59 PM on Jan. 23, 2011 in Just for Fun

Level 16 (2,928 Credits)
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Answers (21)
  • I'm black and have been accused of "talking white" so I know exactly what you're talking about. I honestly think it comes from black people believing that this country is ruled and controlled by whites (thank you slavery) and if you want to get ahead you have to conform. Sadly, proper English is what most White people speak so when a Black person does speaks it, they are considered to be "acting white."

    Your sister may also have a problem with you marrying a white man and having biracial children. That is a huge issue here in the South where I live. I too married a white man and sometimes family make comments about me leaving my own race. They also seem to be upset that I didn't name my kids Shaniqua and Bonikiea. Black people as a whole have not fully recovered from slavery and we will continue to have problems learning to coexist with people of other races along with creating and to maintain black unity.

    Answer by keisha613 at 8:15 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • My guess is people feel threatened by it. Remember in My Fair Lady when Henry Higgins says something to the effect that the way you speak will determine your success in life? Like it or not, the way we speak says volumes about us. If we want to get a decent job we need to sound intelligent as well as be intelligent. Congrats to you for learning to speak in a way that is more accepted by the masses. Don't worry about what others say. Let your example show the way.

    Answer by collier5 at 7:14 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I've noticed that myself...... the director of the film Precious talked about how as Precious Gabourey was so ghetto but in real life she's a total "valley girl". It's a bizarre phenomenon. Are they acting black, too black, white, trying to BE white, etc etc. I am white but find the whole topic offensive and in poor taste

    Answer by hibbingmom at 7:02 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I think it is because you showed the world, by your choice to improve yourself, that it isn't something outside a person's control. It negates the victim excuse so many people use. I applaud your effort. I don't care what color some people may try to compare you to.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 7:15 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • NO offense to your sister but, attitudes like hers is what is keeping racism alive from blacks and whites. We live in a very multicultural community and I am so glad. We have people of all origins around us in school, church, community activities everywhere.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 7:30 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I never really thought so much on how a person speaks. At least not until I read this.

    Answer by idaspida at 7:05 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I agree with you. It is very sad.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 7:05 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • i dont really think it matters the race. i think most people when they are younger talk a certain way because "it is cool" whether it is slang or whatnot. but as you grow up i think it should be put away with all other adolescent things. it makes people sound uneducated. If you are out with your friends having a good time it may still be ok to talk in such a manner. However, in a day to day basis i feel everyone should use more respectable tones and words. And for someone to put another down because they choose to speak and carry themselves as the respectable adult they are is not acceptable.

    Answer by sweetestkitten at 7:17 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • wow, that sucks! Maybe you speaking proper English makes them feel bad about their broken english. What's funny, is that it's not even a racial thing. There are PLENTY of white folks who can't speak a lick of proper English & use slang all the time. I find it strange that some blacks might say another black is trying to be white by speaking proper english....that is lame. Just tell them that you'd prefer to sound educated than non-educated. That has nothing to do with race at all.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 7:56 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I am biracial and have to my knowledge always spoken properly my mom is british and she said it did not matter what color we were we should carry ourselves with respect and the little black kids used to call me uncle tom and other names saying uncle tom and such. I just learned to ignore them.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 8:08 PM on Jan. 23, 2011