To the girl or dude who has been told they "talk white"... news flash - you do. I feel like I can say that because all my life I've been told I speak white and that I am an oreo. Up until very recently- I'm talking literally up until last Saturday- I was ready to fight every time someone told me I spoke white. You should've seen how quickly my neck would roll, and how loud I'd yell" what the hell does talking white mean? Just because I know how to spell nonchalant and use punctuation marks that means I'm talking white? No. No. No. You're just dumb". Obviously, I was not very happy about that.
But. Recently, I've had an epiphany of sorts. The times when people accused me of speaking white, they weren't exactly wrong. When you're considered well spoken, it's not because you've mastered hood-talk or a language indigenous to a people outside of the western world. Whether you're well spoken or not is based on whether you've mastered a western language- primarily English. The better your English, the " smarter" you are deemed. The more "well-read" you seem. You are automatically seen as an intellectual. English is who's language? ...... the white mans! It was imposed onto communities of color because it was considered superior. So, are we wrong to say the better your English, the more white you sound? I think not.
I used to get defensive. I thought I was just speaking proper. I was speaking properly. I was speaking the white man's language properly. I still don't think this is a bad thing. I think the underlying implications are worth discussing though.
Often, the people who told me I was talking white were just the people from around the way. I don't know whether the way I was speaking was making them uncomfortable because according to western standards, I was"smarter" than they were because my English was better. I used to feel uncomfortable. I still do. When I talk, naturally and everyone is like "wow, Asamia you're so smart". Or" My nigga, why you talking like that?". Sometimes I don't even participate in class, or I "dumb" down my responses because I don't want to be seen as the "oreo" This is extremely problematic.
I don't think I am smarter than anyone just because my English is a smidge better. This is the remnants of slavery and colonization rearing its ugly head. We have been conditioned to believe our black ways are inferior to white ways and that's not true. We shouldn't have to be the most well spoken person for our words to matter. We are not inherently dumb because Ebonics comes easily to us. Plus, erryoneeee wants to talk Black when it's time to appropriate our culture- so we obviously ain't inferior.
And to my fellow oreos, we should not think we are better than our around the way people. We are the around the way people. We are not superior because we speaking the white man's language a little better than others. This is an extremely toxic way of thinking and it's a clear sign of self hatred. Our black cultures, not just our languages, are laced with the survival songs of our ancestors. Let us not let the white supremacist systems stop us from being black with pride.
One can express themselves as they want. What we should stray away from is this holier than thou attitude. We all still black. I think I am just as hood as the next person. The only reason I can speak English properly was because I read so much as a kid. That's it. I love being black. Period.