The video interview that I did with Angel Ramirez-Jordan this week was insightful content, as long as you skip the comments section.
No one complained about our discussion, but guess what they found fault in? My looks (“She’s not that beautiful”) and diction. Apparently I have an “annoying voice” that “sounds of white” it’s a shame.”
Those comments brought back a lot of painful memories–being teased relentlessly by my cousins, who lived near Compton, California, about how much of a white girl I sounded like. So I tried to sound more “hood,” when I interacted with them, to only be mocked further for my pathetic attempt to sound “authentically black.”
But what, exactly, does “sounding black” or urban or street actually GET YOU in life? Will it ensure your long term success in education, career and social circles outside of people who don’t speak ebonics? Aside from being a rapper or ratchet reality star, what benefit does talking “street” give you when you need a job, or start your own business?
It’s amazing to me that some American blacks try to police each other against POSITIVE traits that can assist in their success. Talking “white,” reading, having eclectic interests, and an avid interest outside of the black planet is often mocked in order to discourage freer thinking African Americans from doing so.
But you know what I don’t see?
I don’t see Asian Americans mocking their own for “talking white.”
I don’t see Latin Americans mocking their own for “talking white.”
I don’t see Middle Eastern Americans mocking their own for “talking white.”
I don’t see African immigrants mocking their own for “talking white.”
And you know what? Collectively, all those other minority groups are dancing circles around us in every measurable statistic, and we’ve been here the longest.
This is yet another reason why black women and black women seek connections outside of the black community–the intolerance for alternative thinking unapproved by the GAT-DL (Guardians of All Things Dark and Lovely). In some ways, I feel freer thinking black men have it worse–there’s so much pressure to be a dick-swinging hyper masculine cartoon of a person, and being a geeky black dude in high school could get you a beat down in an inner city school.