Not Black Enough For You

Not Black Enough For You


So, I’m on my way to work this morning, and I stop at a McDonald’s to grab a cup of Caramel Hot Chocolate. (SN: If you don t know about this, it is absolute heaven.) As I begin to order, I hear this voice behind me say “Damn, she talk like a white girl. What, she don’t want to be black or something?” (This coming from another black woman) I. Was. PISSED!! I wanted to whip my neck around, call her out her name and show her that even though we got out of projects when I was little, I can still pop off like I still live there. But, instead of whipping around and cussing them out, proving to these two A-holes just how “Black” I am, I decided to calmly write a blog and get out my frustrations in the best way I know how.

First and foremost, what the hell does “talking like a white girl” even mean?! Since I choose to talk in whole sentences, acknowledging the subjects, predicates, nouns, verbs and adjectives that make a complete thought?! Is it because, I talk like I was in someone’s English class, paid attention and actually LEARNED how to talk? Perhaps it was because my speech will be the most helpful in a job interview or in an office environment….which is exactly where I want my career to take me. I could come up with 1,000 reasons why my particular speech is important, and how I got to talk this way, but the truth of the matter is because (and let me say this in a way fellow “Black people can relate to) my gra’ma taught me how to talk! I spent a whole lifetime being corrected when I spoke. I heard “No, say it like this,” or “That’s not the proper way to say that, or the more impactful “I know I taught you better than that!” Yes, it got in my nerves, of course I just wanted to be able to talk and not be corrected, but it had always stuck with me.

See, in my eyes, when I hear the words, “You talk like a white girl” or “You tryna act white,” I’m not offended by the implication that I’m trying to be white (just want to make that clear for any Caucasian fiends reading this post.). It pisses me off that I have to sound a certain way to solidify my “Blackness.” Like if I’m not talking in broken English, or every other word isn’t a curse word or a reference to a rap lyric, I’m not worthy to be labeled as a black woman. If I’m not talking in slang or dropping letters at the end of words, I need to mail my “Black card” off to Deborah Lee with a letter of apology or if I don’t roll my eyes or pop my neck, my ancestors didn’t originate in from The Motherland of Africa. The implication that because you say I “sound white” means that in order for my speech to identify with being black, I need to speak like I wasn’t given the opportunity to sit next to a white person in my English class, or I didn’t get my Diploma and I’m not working hard for my degree, or my mind can only fathom rap lyrics, Ebonics, broken language and attitude. The implication is that I have to talk ignorant to be black and I BE DAMNED if I will let you talk about my black heritage that way. We have come too far, fought too hard and lost too many for us to stay so closed minded or talk behind the back of a person who isn’t trying to be anything but the best that they were meant to be.

So, as I collected my hot chocolate and left, I just smiled, politely said to her “I was taught to be well spoken, it’s gotten me far in life. And I love being black, Happy Holiday’s though!” I could’ve gone head to head, line for line trying to “out ghetto” these woman, but for what? To prove to them I’m a black girl too? As if the melanin in my skin wasn’t proof enough. Or my natural hair wasn’t ethnic enough. Even though I was super-hot under the collar, I wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction. Besides, this Caramel hot chocolate tasted WAY too good, and I wasn’t going to let two chicks that don’t affect my paycheck ruin my day. When I walked away I heard them cackling “She ain’t talking to me, shoot. I’ll beat huh ass, AND it’s Christmas! Shoot,” high fiving one another as if the battle had been won. And maybe in their eye’s it had been. I have no complaints about my speech. It’s gotten me to where I am now and will get me to where I need to be in the future. I’ll continue to talk the way I do, live the way I do. If that makes me a white girl, then call me Becky…with the Good Hair, or course 😉

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