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.
Friday, January 18, 2013
so i had an off site meeting for work recently, where i noticed other black employees. but there was one particular black woman, around my age probably, who opened her mouth to talk loudly about her "hair" ( it was an obvious weave. funny how white people can't ever tell the difference) with a group of white girls. i'm not sure why this black woman felt the need to explain to a group of about 5 white women how she maintains her weave, how she can't wash her hair as often as whites and then.........
what really got to me was that this black woman went on to say that 'us black people, our hair just doesn't really grow... so that's why WE wear weaves'. o...m...g.....i think i choked on my muffin. i could tell my looking at her that she felt like she was getting some kind of validation or approval or bonding with them somehow??? i wanted to speak up and say "no dear. YOUR hair doesn't grow...but MINE does". and the more i think about it, i want to kick myself for not saying anything, instead i just gave a dirty look that she probably never even saw. but the time and place for just jumping into someones conversation wasn't right. i didn't know those women and if i had inserted myself into their conversation, it would have made me look like an idiot.
but REALLY? none of us black people have hair that grows? seriously? and we ALL have to wear wigs and weaves? does that even sound right? well, i'm sure to underexposed white women it does. but it's black people like her who give the rest of us a bad name. and then to make herself look even worse talking about how rarely she washes her hair. ugh. that's just so trashy.all the white women were oooooh-ing and aaaaaah-ing, which i'm sure made her feel SO special.
i have never worn a weave. i don't even know where i'd go to get a weave. and my hair? like tons and tons of black girls everywhere-grows and grows and grows. and i wash my hair often. not every day, but before it gets gross and stinky. and i would never sit around acquaintance co-workers discussing my personal hygiene- as if they're somehow NOT going to secretly look down on me and assume that about any other new black girl they meet.
so thanks a lot, miss chickenhead, for reaffirming the stereotype without even thinking about it.