Wednesday, January 30, 2013

speak

i was sitting here trying to figure out which feels more natural- me speaking in my normal, everyday "white" sounding voice, or my "black" voice which comes out naturally when i'm tired or relaxed-if i want it to.  i was thinking about this because lately i've had to work with one of those white girls who obviously has a lot of black friends.  she's one of those whose voice has a little bit of a black "edge" to it. you know, that sound like she's from the deep south, but she's not. she also has an attitude

it's  weird for me to have a conversation with her, because i naturally sound the way that i sound-which is "white". but she's speaking to me the way she probably thinks i should speak. so, i feel a little self conscious while we're having a really interesting conversation because i feel like i should switch into black girl mode just for her sake. i mean, she's in that mode, shouldn't i join her? i don't let myself though because of the fact that she is white, regardless of how she sounds and i will not play into the stereotype.

i've done it before in that kind of situation, but for some reason, my "black" talking doesn't come natural! i literally sound like a white person trying to sound black, i guess because i feel like i'm "trying" or forcing something that i don't do in a professional work place.

what i mean to say is that it's not natural for me to talk comfortably "black" around white people. it's like my subconscious just wont even allow it. but, it is awkward when someone white wants to talk "black" to me.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Be yourself at all times. Be comfortable with others who are different from you. I really feel we are influenced by our culture and environment. My point is if the white girl is always around black people who speak like her that is who she is...

Anonymous said...

I can relate! I have been told many times that I talk "white" I have been in that situation before with a white co-worker. It so awkward! but I resist the urge to talk "black" and just act and talk like I do with everyone else. At the end of the day its better to be yourself or you'll come off sounding "fake".

Jeena Effoe said...

Mmmm hmmm, I know exactly what you are talking about.. but I keep it strictly white with the whites.... no body is cool.. feel me?

619TOUGHLADY said...

Don't change the way you speak for whites or blacks. Speak how you're comfortable with.

That's what I do. I am black and the majority of my college is white. From time to time, I'll catch an ignorant one speak "black" to me. I usually speak white to them or don't speak to them at all. Then you have whites who speak normally, but their tone is horrible. I'll speak white, also, and they have a strange look on their face.

whatever, I don't live to please anyone except myself and I especially won't put my time into pleasing whites.

MoCa said...

LOL, I know that feeling. I went to a workshop once and the topic was "How to bring your true self to the workplace." It was hosted by an African-American nonprofit group. That very next day, I went into my majority White office and began talking how I normally talk... no Ebonics, just normal. Boy, did that relax me... and it eliminated all of my "code-switching" headaches, LOL!

~MoCa
www.purplethoughtsfrommoca.blogspot.com
www.bapology.wordpress.com