So the neighborhood I grew up in was mentioned in The New Jim Crow due to the high number if Stop-and-Frisks in the area.
Gotta love Brownsville.
ghostnoteabuse replied to your post“Voice”
The gentleman you mentioned made sure to say “young person”. I’m pretty sure he meant in general, and not just for someone in your social bracket. I can understand being wary of the compliments you might receive from certain people though.
I personally decided a long time ago to let the compliments motivated by other people’s ignorance to affect me positively. And if not, then it just gives me another reason to work harder, you feel?
This is it Bombshells, what we’ve all been waiting for!! Save Bomb Girls will officially post about this later, but IT’S FINALLY HERE!
The way I speak has always been a source of frustration for me. Today an older white guy who I’ve never spoken to before at the place I volunteer at came up to me and said, “I just want to let you know that you have the most atriculate way of speaking that I’ve ever heard a young person have. Every time you spoke my ears pricked up in the circle and it made me pay more attention.” I accepted the compliment with a smile and joked with him a bit, but if I’m being honest, I was a little bugged by it.
I always seem to be bugged by certain aspects of myself when they pertain to my image as a black woman that normally others wouldn’t, and I’ll link a post I made a while ago on this when I’m not on my phone, but the way in which I speak has a push-pull for me. I’ve always been taunted by my peers for the way I speak and even to this day people are surprised by the way I sound when I open my mouth. White girl, valley girl, oreo, preppy, whitie, white chick, Ivy (as in Ivy Leauge)- the list goes on and on. My mum told me a few days ago of a time when I came home from elementry school fuming and crying because my classmates told me, “I speak like a white person. They told me I’m not black enough.” I don’t remember that specific incident, but I remember being called some form of “white” about the way I speak since I began going to school. Shit, to this day I still get confused for a white girl over the phone.
I speak a lot like my mother, but she has an easier time code-switching between how she speaks with her friends and how she speaks in a professional manner than I do. Most of that has to do with the fact that I’m awkward as fuck and I’m very nervous around new people. I don’t think I held real conversations with my rugby mates until a year after I met them, so imagine how I am with a community I’ve been with since January. I’m only starting to slacken my tongue around them and still I sound like a robot. I think very carefully about what I say and how I say it, and while it somewhat thwarts spontenaity, its my comfort and how I operate.
But back to the original point: for every person who calls me some form of white for the way I speak, there is another person praising me for how carefully thought out I speak. And for how well I do so (even if I think my verbal communication skills need a major overhaul, I’m getting better at it). While comments and praises like the one I got earlier come from good intentions, I can’t help but wonder if they’re rooted in the same place as the negative comments I get.
I negatively get called white girl because I speak the way I was taught; on the other hand, I get praised for the way I speak because it’s assumed that as a black women I won’t speak as eloquently as I do.