Friday, November 12, 2010


so, i was out with some white friends last night. we decided to go to happyhour over in the alberta district. i don't mind hanging with the white friends, i mean, i'm so used to it, you know. but i have to say that something that was said got under my skin.

one of the girls started talking about a snoop dog song, i don't remember exactly what she was saying about it, but we were all laughing and drinking and talking. so anyway, i thought the story she was telling was pretty funny, so i started singing the song: '....sippin' on gin and juice...laid back....'. everyone was laughing until one of the girls says, "could you make it sound any whiter?!" and then began laughing hysterically with the others.

so according to her, because i'm black, and singing a rap song, i should sound black when i sing it. i'm not gonna go into the whole sounding white vs. sounding black argument, i've already done that. it was just that....they were laughing at the way i sung it because i'm black. if i were white, no one would have cared that i sang it without...bass in my voice ( i guess that's what you'd call it, per martin lawrence in Bad Boys), or whatever it is that makes black people sound "black".

what is that, anyway?

so no matter how much they consider me their "girlfriend", no matter how much i have inadvertently assimilated into the white culture, they still expect me to be able to just "whip out" the stereotype when they happen to be talking about a rap song. should it matter that i happen to not even like most rap?

however, on the flip side, i 've been with white people before where i did happen to "whip out" the slang talk only because it was apropos, and you would not believe the stares and dropped jaws i get as if to say, "wait a minute... you're black??"


YoFabulous said...

I've lived with this all of my life and I don't think there's another solution other than to ask them to clarify their comment. Once someone begins to think about what they just said, they realize how stereotypical and stupid it is.

TBG said...

Yofabulous, you're absolutely right. if i had said, "what? what do you mean?" it would have forced her to realize the racism in her comment!

Anonymous said...

Really great post. I experienced a lot of this in high school and I now get the opposite since i wear my hair natural. People call me afrocentric and that's SOOOO not my personality. Labels are so restricting. But they stick like glue if we let them.

Quincy said...

Guys that I truly call "friends" and I may make a comment to race now and then to one another without feeling weird about it.

On the flip side of things, being that English was my best subject in school, I've been said to "talk white" myself, but never by a white person. Maybe hearing it from one of them would sound weird to me. I guess I do see your point after all. Sorry you had to be reminded that you're different. When you find out what "sounding black means" then let me know, okay? Because I haven't a clue :)

Mrsluckycat said...

As a white person, I can't fully understand why you were hurt. I do think your white friends comment about not sounding black was insensitive and based in stereotype. If they are a good friend, perhaps it would be worth bringing up. But I really don't have any business telling you what to do. I did relate to your hurt as a person with european jewish ancestry, with the name Mary.. More than once people have said, upon finding out about my background,"but you don't act jewish". Did they expect me to run around looking for nickels on the floor, or break into the horah? Anyway, thanks for your post.

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