Being Black And Articulate

Being Black And Articulate

This topic boils my blood people. The number one thing I hate to hear is when people reference that I somehow sound white. Ever since I could comprehend people and analyze conversations, somewhere there has been a person who that they had the right to accuse me of talking white.

Fast forward, and I am now 26 years old. Do you think that this has stopped? Nope. And I’m at the point now in life where I don’t think it ever will. Stereotypes have been so ingrained into our minds that when we see and experience something outside of that stereotype, we label it as strange or wrong.

There is nothing strange or wrong about me. I am who I am. Perfectly made in God’s image.

Thank you very much.

Back in high school, everything was pretty segregated. Cheerleaders hung out with the cheerleaders. Jocks hung out with other jocks and dated cheerleaders. It was like a scene out of Clueless. I was fortunate enough to mingle with an amazing group of people. People who didn’t seem to care about how the words that formulated from my mouth sounded. It wasn’t until I had class with several girls, girls that shared the same ethnicity as me. Very quickly, these girls took it upon themselves to try and stop me from “talking white”.

One of the parts of growing up is learning about your sense of self – self-identity. I identify as a black female. So naturally I would want to identify with other black females. But when other black females don’t want to identify with you because you’re not fitting into the stereotype of what a black person has been displayed to be like, you become self-aware and uncomfortable in your own skin.

Thats what happened to me. I became so self-conscious of who I was, and wanted to change the real me so badly so that my own people would stop looking at me like I didn’t belong. I had a lot of issues with this growing up; especially in high school, your most critical years of discovery. I’ve never truly been at peace with who I am until probably a few years ago. It was kind of like a revelation that I didn’t have to talk, act or dress a certain way and I am proud that I am the way that I am.

Let me tell you something. Do not, I repeat, do not go up to a black person, or any person of any race for that matter and say –

  1. You’re talking white

  2. You’re black on the outside, but white on the inside.

  3. You’re like an oreo, black on the outside, but white on the inside

  4. Did you grow up around a bunch of white people?

  5. Is your family black or white?

  6. How urban are you?

LISTEN! These questions/statements you have just read have been the most disrespectful things that any human being has ever said to me. Like I said above, it boils my blood. Don’t expect a pleasant response from me after you say some shit like this! You’ll get my resting bitch face for the remainder of the day. Until your common sense kicks in.

When it comes from a white person, its sort of like they think they are complimenting you. Like welcome to the best club you’ll ever have the privilege of being in! No! No No No! Stop it. And Stop it now! Its rude. It comes off as ignorant. Like you’re accepting us as one of your own because we’re not exemplifying your idea of a black person – uneducated, angry, bitter, violent.

Shows like Love and Hip Hop, Sorority Sisters and Bad Girls Club are an exaggerated, false example of what Blacks are truly like. WE DO NOT ACT LIKE THIS! We are a

                                                                          Wise

                                                                      Educated

                                                                               Strong

                              Sophisticated

group of individuals that deserve the credit, because credit is way overdue.

Bottom line. People of Color (Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, etc.) are all born and raised differently. We all experience different cultures, and friendships, and life events that mold us into who we are. We are not all the same. Therefore we do not need to speak the same, dress the same, act the same, walk the same. Do you get my point?

Regardless of how I speak, I will always be black.

 

 

4 Comments

  1. January 28, 2016 / 9:29 PM

    Wonderful and well articulated post. Thank you for sharing! Lots of white people (myself included at an earlier, more ignorant point in my life) need to read this. My boyfriend spent the first 10 years of his life in Zimbabwe and then as he slowly lost his Zimbabwean accent (insert my sad face here because I love it when his African-British accent comes out when he’s around his family) he did sound more articulate than the guys I had gone to school with in high school. And I’m embarrassed to admit, but I told him once before we started dating that he sounded “white.” Thankfully he was patient and gentle in telling me that wasn’t appropriate, but I seriously didn’t know any different because maybe I didn’t have the social cues of growing up around many black people, so I didn’t know that was wrong. Since being in a relationship with him, though, I’ve learned a lot about the segregation people automatically place in their minds through being able to see the world through his eyes.

    Stereotypes are so ingrained in us that we don’t know how to overcome them until we hear people’s stories whether through reading, getting to know people, or becoming more educated in some fashion. I wish there was more of a way to have an open dialogue between people of all different cultures. I believe there is a lot of fear, though. I can’t speak for other people or even people from other backgrounds or races, but I personally love to ask questions and get to know stories for the purpose of better understanding of who they are and genuinely just to become better friends with that person. But I never know if a certain question will offend, so it’s almost like I’m paralyzed in asking because I don’t want to be offensive. So what are your suggestions in how to open up that conversation?

    Like I said – love this post!

    • kangelascott@gmail.com
      January 29, 2016 / 11:57 AM

      Thanks!!! It means a lot to me!

      So, I suggest just asking that person if they’re comfortable with you asking them questions about their background/race or culture. Some people are completely okay with it. I find that if you’re sincerity is genuine, and you don’t have any negative energy toward it, ask. That way you can be informed.

      If I meet someone of a different background or race and have questions or my curiosity gets the best of me, I always interject the “I have a question, but please let me know if I’m overstepping or if this is inappropriate…”

      Also, taking them aside and asking them is also something I do instead of asking my questions in front of a group of people. That definitely helps!

  2. January 29, 2016 / 12:44 AM

    Excellent post! I remember people calling me an “oreo” in school (black on the outside, white on the inside). I always made it clear that I am a black woman despite not fitting into your narrow box of who and what a black woman is supposed to be.

  3. Adia
    May 9, 2016 / 5:43 PM

    I am a thirteen-year-old girl who deals with this all of the time. It hurts even more when I get excited, use AAVE, and the teachers ask me how the “black” side of me popped me. Like a have a switch that alternatively makes me white or black. That blows. It discourages me from raising my hand in class because they’re either anticipating my ratchet alter ego or articulate Adia. This was my first post I read of you and I’m excited to see what else I can find in the burrows of this site!

    ~A. Quee

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