The Negro Dialect


The Negro Dialect: How Our Language Hinders and Helps Our Younth

This is the third segment within the topic of the Role of Education.  This discussion will examine how the use of language has played a role in Black peoples lives and how the perceptions of using a particular way of speaking can impact the Black Community.

The 3 Questions

1. Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black?

2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people?

3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter?

FRONT STREET

Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate MajorityLeader, said it…  He said what many White, if not all, people thought whenever they heard the oratory stylings of Obama. “He [Reid] was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ according to Halperin and Heilemann.  Although Harry Reid later apologized for his insensitive comments, what he said is indeed a troublesome stereotype that Black people have to overcome constantly.  Does the way we talk, speak to our level of intelligence?  Why does code switching have to be a part of any successful Black persons repartee?  Hip Hop is the most listen to form of music in the world, why do Black people need to change the way we speak if it’s obvious that people can understand what we are saying?  All of these questions are jammed into the idea of “talking intelligently” and how the perceptions of Black people is always about proving our worthiness.  In short is the Negro dialect contributing to the destruction of Our Community?

Please write in and response to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see asked.  These question and more were addressed on MONTH/DAY/YEAR during the discussion which is now airing on YouTube.

7 thoughts on “The Negro Dialect”

  1. Black people are not a monolith so “talking black“ is not a thing. Using AAVE can be a hindrance only because we live in a racist, white dominant society that will view that version of English as subpar/inferior. The way people speak and the version of English they use, whether they have an accent or not should not matter as long as they are speaking respectfully and intelligibly.

  2. 1. Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black? It’s called talking black but really it’s just less formal language not saddled by dotting every “I” or crossing every “t”. I can’t say what those words or sentence structures are, you just know it when you hear it.

    2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people? I don’t. As an adult black you understand you cannot be yourself everywhere you go, not because there is something wrong with it but people are largely ignorant and to them it says something that may not be what you want to convey. As long as you black kinda understand this principle then I think it’s fine to talk how you want, but understand there is a time and place for some things.

    3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter? No, it shouldn’t matter and to more open minded and educated people it doesn’t, but the fact is the people in the rarified air are typically older and have years of biases that you are not going to overcome but you can come to understand and around which you can still find success.

  3. 1. Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black?
    I believe there is such a thing as talking “black”, but not in the same sense that American society says. Talking black is a dialect that blacks, as slaves, used to communicate with each other. Throughout years the dialect has changed but the reasoning for using such dialect remains the same, to communicate with our own people. Needless to say, American society has changed the meaning of “ talking black”, to something negative, something uneducated, and something ignorant. As with anything else in this country pertaining to blacks, what people do not understand they tend to denounce or write off as negativity.

    2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people?
    No! As previously stated talking black Does Not mean uneducated! As with anything there is a time and a place and we as smart, educated, talented blacks should know that, and knowing that we are critiqued more often need to remain vigilant.

    3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter?
    Yes! The only way to change the stigma associated with “talking black” is to prove the doubters wrong, show them like President Obama did so well that we have always been great orators.

  4. 1. Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black?
    I do not believe there is a such thing as talking “black”, however I do believe because of the our ability to influence pop culture at such a high level, society has placed those tags on us, and in a lot of instances, black people who primarily live amongst white people tend to try and dissassociate themselves from sounding as if they “talk Black”.

    2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people?
    In my experience you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t as it pertains to “talking Black”. As a people we have become too accustomed trying to fit in with white people, that anything that is deemed “too black sounding” is a hindrance. There is a time and place for slang, however, nobody should lose themselves attempting to sound like someone else. For example, former/current NFL player, Aqib Talib, was recently spent time in the booth as a broadcast analyst for FOX NFL on Sunday the last couple of weeks during the season. The biggest criticism/feedback that was given was essentially the way he “sounded”. Aqib sounded and spoke like a Black man….to the white audience they were not accustomed to hearing a Black man across the airwaves sounding like himself, rather than aligning himself with what “they” want a Black man to sound like. Black people should absolutely talk Black every chance they get!

    3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter?
    It shouldn’t and I think in 2021, Black people need to be comfortable speaking with as they see fit. Obviously the type of language used in certain environments (ie cussing) should be curbed as necessary. However by all means Black people should not be concerned with how we speak. Not when there are klansmen w/ cops badges….

  5. 1. Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black?
    I do not necessarily think that there is such a thing, but society does. From what it looks like, society’s definition of talking Black ranges from broken English to elaborate slang….which I interpret as them labeling Black people as either uneducated or too cool for school. Either way, it is not viewed upon favorably by the segment of society that controls the narrative on what is considered to be good and proper.
    2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people?
    Communication is important in any setting where people have to interact with one another. I believe that the more tools you have to communicate the better your chances of success in that setting. Therefore, the ability to “talk Black” can be a big advantage depending on the situation and audience. Limitations always hold people back, so if the person can only understand “talking Black” that would present a hindrance if you need a wider communications skillset to achieve your goal.
    3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter?
    The content of the message coupled with how it is delivered is what should matter. Effective communication is the most important thing. As long as your message can be understood, you are good to go.

  6. 1. Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black?
    No, because that would imply there is a such thing as talking white. People, especially Americans speak and sound like where they are from. There are certain words that are used in the black community and in hip hop/pop culture, but that isn’t exclusively black anymore. People just use different lexicons based on where they are from influenced by those around them.

    2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people?

    I thinking not speaking proper English or words that aren’t universally identified hinder black students. Similar to writing, you can speak one way, but when writing you can’t use words like cause instead of because. It changes the meaning and can alter what message you are trying to get across. I believe where you are from and where you are creates the hindrance. For example, if you are from the south and living North looking for employment they may believe you are slow or not intelligent. The opposite is also true a northerner can be viewed as rude and aggressive in the south. People’s biases toward folks they aren’t familiar with hinder them more than how they talk.

    3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter?

    Yes, we have to speak and write better than others for the same reason we have to perform on our jobs or in the classroom at a higher level. We walk in disadvantaged because of our skin and not being able to articulate yourself clearly can give people a reason to dismiss your abilities. Ultimately it depends on the environment. If you work or study something that doesn’t require you to speak clearly than it shouldn’t matter, but if you must interact with the public of be the face/representative of that school or business you must be able to communicate clearly.

  7. 1.Do you believe there is such a thing as talking Black?

    Technically speaking “talking black” isn’t a real thing. Now you can connect a certain dialect to a group of people. Just as we all know how “hill billies” and “rednecks” talk. So for the stake of this question I believe “talking black” is just a negative connection to a certain dialect of the English language that has been cast to black people.

    2. Do you believe “talking Black” is a hindrance for Black students/people?

    I believe it’s both a gift and a curse. A gift being that there can sometimes be a sacred connection between two black people speaking this way. It’s a subconscious way of talking a language that was force on us and making it our own. Taking something that was so dark and putting our own black magic to it. Born of this has been a whole cultural influence that is too vast to describe.

    The negative side of this is that being a minority in the United States, those with less intelligence and culturally bankrupt choose to look down on the language and associate that with poor intellectual ineptitude.

    3. Should the way people, particularly Black people, talk matter?

    I believe that The majority of black people in this country by the time there have reached adult age have mastered the “code switch.” In this country having a strong command of a language is connected to the intelligence of an individual. So with that, it’s important to know your audience. A funny story in grad school I had to present a paper that I wrote (which I received a 100% on the written part). But at the time of the presentation I just had a crazy track and field practice. I.was.tyyyyyieeeed. At this presentation, in front of a white professor and being the only black male in class, I didn’t have a care to participate in the “code switch” I gave them all the “dat” right thur” “aight bet” “so boom” “ya feel me” that they probably thought they stumbled into a black barber shop on a Saturday morning. Needs less to say I receive a 70% on the presentation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.