Is white Privilege real? I chose this article because when I got back from my mission I came home to a lot of politics. It has really interested me because when I left, politics were still an issue, but not to a large effect. When I got home it seemed like all hell broke loose and that’s all anyone was talking or posting about. So, I did some unbiased research myself not really listening to ones side or the other until I have read both stance points.
In Brent Staples essay "Just Walk On By: Black Men and Public Space" Staples uses a lot of diction to puts emphasis on the tensions between the black and white races. It was very clear to point out and say that his target audience are the scared white women and people that get frightened when they see a person of color. Staples knows that there are good and bad black people but regardless of what he thinks of himself others will always look at him different. So to change their ideals he uses strong diction to get them to feel different.
“If Black English Isn’t a Language Then Tell Me What Is” In the essay “If Black Isn’t a Language Then Tell Me What Is” (The New York Times, 1979) written by James Baldwin, the author asserts that the African American community has altered the English language into a new language during the last five centuries to accommodate the black experience in American history despite the white’s attempt to submerge it. To begin the essay he makes his argument clear by referencing the alterations the French made to their native language to describe how people will eventually “...evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances…”; furthermore he continues to analyze how the caucasian people of America have only accepted the black language when it came out of a white mouth; he ends the essay by reinforcing his position, elaborating on the racism black’s have faced when they were denied the right to an education unless it was for the white benefit. His liberal purpose is to bring light to the subtle racism that African Americans experience even after the Civil Rights movement and to acknowledge the cultural influence they have in America. His writing appears very personal and intimate like he’s voluntarily opening up to his audience by letting them know of his own struggles as an African American, targeting mostly minorities and people who feel oppressed by white America.
Jaswinder Bolina uses his identification as Other, to describe difficulties within the writing and speaking community related to what is commonly identified as “white” English in his essay, Writing Like a White Guy. Bolina’s audience is people whom identify as “Other” or “non-white”. He emphasizes, “The first perhaps essential step in assimilating into any culture is the successful adoption of the host country’s language. What’s unusual in America is that this is no different for the immigrant than for the native-born nonwhite.”
Nearly every American speaks a dialect of English that varies from the dialect that is considered “correct,” or Standard American English (SAE); however, although dialects are entirely acceptable variants of English, some dialectal speakers experience increased prejudice and hardships due to their speech patterns, such as negative stigmas and intelligibility issues. A common hardship experienced by children who speak African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which is spoken by many African Americans, is increased difficulty mastering many literacy skills in schools. To explain, because AAVE differs in the syntax, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics from SAE, many children having difficulty mediating between the language system they are learning
The article “From outside, in,” by Barbara Mellix reveals the difficulties among the black ethnicity to differentiate between two diverse but similar languages. One is “black English”, which is comfortable to her while speaking with her family and community and the other is “standard English”, generally used while talking in public with strangers and work. Since childhood Mellix was taught when and where to use either black English or standard English. To illustrate, seeing her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh, where there was wide range use of both languages, she learned to manage both languages with ease.
In Black Men and Public Space, Staples uses diction to create a sarcastic and almost humorous tone to get his point across. “As a softy who is scarcely able to take a knife to a raw chicken - let alone hold onto a person’s throat…” (347). Staple writes. Instead of taking a full on negative tone and having no sense of humor in it, Staples shows, no matter what happens to him, sarcasm and humor to lighten the mood of the article. In contrast, Staples chooses to include “ I could cross in front of a car stopped at a traffic light and elicit the thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk of the driver…” (347).
The tradition of education in the African American culture implies the cultural values of the better opportunities for the family. Education provides an efficient ways to avoid the struggles that other African American’s families had to endure to provide a stable life for their families. An understanding of your ethnic culture
The Skin That We Speak The way a person speaks is a direct link to a person’s culture and the environment which he or she was raised in. A person’s language, skin color as well as economic status influences the way he or she is perceived by others. Lisa Delpit and eleven other educators provide different viewpoints on how language from students of different cultures, ethnicity, and even economic status can be misinterpreted due to slang and dialect or nonstandard English by the teachers as well as his or her own peers. The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit and Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, who collected essays from a diverse group of educators and scholars to reflect on the issue of language
Baldwin stated that “Language is determined by the person that is speaking it.” The audience is anyone that doesn’t consider “Black English” a language, people that don’t use
My mother and father have always wanted the best for me, like all good parents do. One of the many things that they expect from me is to receive a college education, something that they never had the chance to do. My parents always advise me to not to make the same mistakes as they did, to go to college so I can get a good job and not have to struggle in my life. With no alternative, my father had to drop out of school to help his family financially after his parents had gotten a divorce, and then he had received his GED.
The poem titled “On Being Told I Don’t Speak Like a Black Person” by Allison Joseph explains the reason why the poet does not speak like a black person. In this poem, Allison Joseph is speaking about the judgment she experienced growing up. Allison expresses frustration for receiving criticism on how she speaks throughout the poem; Joseph states, “ Was I suppose to sound lazy,/ dropping syllables here and there/… Were certain words off limits,/ too erudite for someone whose skin/ came with a natural tan?” (ln, 34-42). Allison is angry that people are surprised by the way she properly speaks, all because she has black skin.
In David Troutt’s essay “Defining Who We Are in Society”, Troutt argues that language directly displays to others our level of intelligence, and that “as a culture, the greatest benefits go to those who write and speak in standard English, ways identified by most of us as “white,” specifically middle-class white” (Troutt 718). He argues that condemning the use of Ebonics by blacks opens up opportunities for discrimination and even racism. In specific contexts, people may talk however they please, but to discourage the mainstreaming of proper, Standard English for all Americans, regardless of race, puts groups such as the black community at a disadvantage from the start. Most colleges or well-paying jobs are not going to hire someone that does not speak what society has deemed professional Standard English. As tough as that is, it requires us as a whole to teach and educate at a higher level, and hold all students, no matter their color or creed, at the same
In reading Bell Hooks “Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black” outlining her own discovery of herself and the place in society where she stands as a woman or even as a black woman. Hooks distinguishes the importance of “taking back” for the oppressed and the dominated to recover oneself. I felt the writing of Bell Hook in “Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black” is an audacious act by underlining the problem of woman and reveal Hooks path of rediscovery.
As I can recall in school we were taught some African American History, but it was truly limited. Anything extra you wanted to know required you to seek additional research on. At a young age I always ask teachers why was it so much information on American History and not as much on African American History? We were given the response of that’s all that was put into the textbook. It was pretty hard to learn about