March 8, 2009

Whatchu Sayin???


Surprisingly, I have been having a blast on TWITTER.

Imagine having all kinds of random, superfluous, instantaneous jabberwocky at your fingertips! It causes brain mush but afterward is a good fallout of massive amounts of information that you can later peruse at will and ultimately infuse into the Rolodex within your brain.

I found this POLITICO blurb by fellow Twitterer ASKi04, and low and behold, it birthed a post for me!

All the while growing up, I spoke two languages. One recognized, the other not so much. While the United States of America is a vast land of dialects, languages and colloquialisms, none have been as disrespected as the speakeze of Black Americans and "Ebonics".

It has been received in so many ways that it is staggering.

My family always wanted us to speak the "King's English"! All while chastising us in Ghettoize, creole and french.

Their persistence was important because now we are all well-versed, articulate and educated, but when we go into our Black-owned businesses, or are around our peers, we nod with familiarity, and use our vernacular.

How proud a day when I read in the article Blacks, Whites hear Obama differently by Nia-Malika Henderson, that our Pres still acknowledges our heritage and is careful to continue to act the way we do.

Knowing that President Obama continues to support that we speak differently amongst ourselves makes me happy because maybe, one day, our way of speaking will be validated, accepted and not just thought of as "talking black", "being ghetto" or "sounding ignorant".

Black speak is a compilation of historical events. Most slaves, obviously, were not educated. They adapted and adopted the language they were introduced to, and while I am not a linguist, I do recall being fully awake and attentive during my Black Literature courses.

Remarkably, blacks who were slave traded throughout the Caribbeans, Gullahs and Haiti, picked up the Patois of all the regions they passed through. In addition, the influence on Southern diction is an obvious variant and Blacks throughout the country have continued to use this as their communication.

I, for one, have always maintained to my son that he is as bilingual as anyone else. He is articulate but can also hold down with his peers and not be chastised for "talkin white".

How important is all of this? I have no idea! But when a race of people who have no country, no language and no history that is tangible, are able to find a way to feel good amongst themselves and communicate so effectively that others emulate it, well, that is a big deal.

I think that mainstream America is desensitized by the Black experience and may be growing tired of us, but I implore them to indulge us, for just a little while.

Most of us have to use DNA to garner what our true ancestry is.

I have no idea where my fourth generation people are from. I have no country of origin. I do not know what my great-great grandparent spoke, ate, endured.

I am a product of house-women, maternal and paternal, who were ravaged by their employers and who bore children out of wedlock.

So when I read that President Obama walked into a famous Black eatery in Washington and was asked if he wanted his change from the bill, and he responded "Nah, we straight," I beamed with pride.

He ain't ignant, he just bein real.

I'm just hoping that tolerance and credence be given to us all, without judgement and if this be the day for the Black American, I couldn't be happier. And to all of our friends who often exclaim to us in Black Speak to let us know they "get" us or understand ~ keep it up! It's all good!

2 comments:

Gina said...

Cool post. One of my classes last semester focused on Black English a lot (as well as other non-recognized dialects). Pretty cool. If you're into how speech, race, socioeconomic status, etc, affect education, you might like the book 'Skin That We Speak' by Lisa Delpit. I've had to read excerpts from it for many of my educaiton courses, and then had to buy the whole book last semester, and its really interesting.

That all being said, I just can't into Twitter, I don't know why ::shrugs::

Houseonahill said...

Gina,
Thanks, I put "Skin That We Speak" on my immediate list of things to read!

As for Twitter, I did not think I could either, especially since I can't even "Facebook", but so far I am having a blast following Demi Moore and John Mayer...it is really a hoot!!

Can't wait to see what you are eating this week~

House