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Interesting question.

I suppose you ask this since there is the media hype business about "Acting White". I believe there is a commonly held view that "Acting Black" is acting out in less than admirable ways. Call it self-hatred or overall dismay but that's what's mostly attributed to "Acting Black".

Of course, that "negative" idea has been around for quite some time. But, as with anything in the English language and social lexicon, "Acting Your COLOR" can have its "positives" or times in which it is "appropriate".

In contrast to "Acting White"... "Acting Black" to me merely means that one is comfortable with who they are despite whatever 'vices' and 'dysfunctions' are associated with being "Black". That is, someone who really Acts Black is someone who is not swayed or sidetrack by the things in society that would rather have Black folks distance themselves from their own people.

One can Act Black, have righteous indignation about the negative elements in "our" culture but still love our people UNCONDITIONALLY. Unfortunately, those who earn the designation of being Uncle Tom's, etc. are ones who seem to foresake and forego that Unconditional, Longsuffering LOVE.
There is but all too often (IMHO) it is used as an excuse to settle for less and to pass the blame instead of using it to uphold us as a people. Our heritage and legacy is a proud one and "acting black" should be used to show it to the world. Whether through our unique culture or contributions to the world we should be proud to "act black".
In the negative sense, too often those of us that try to achieve something and to better ourselves are accused of acting "white" (whatever that is) So in that sense to me it seems like people are telling me that anything that goes against the norm whether it is media driven our self inflicted is acting black. So if you don't like basketball and have never been to jail, you're not keeping it real.

catch
It's interesting how the term 'acting black' is striking each of us differently.

My first, very first, thought was 'whites' 'acting black.'

I thought of the incorporation of our language into the daily language of whites. The commercials, television, everyday speech, etc.

I also thought of the people who imitate our speech patterns in trying to relate.

Like 'bro' instead of 'bruh.'

Like handshakes,

And leaping body bumping.

I don't know about an issue on 'acting white.'

Yes, there is such a thing as 'acting black.'

When I think of us doing it, the act is more in the vein of 'representin'. Rather than 'acting typical' which is a negative.

We are all acting something.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Black Truth:
I believe there is but what are your opinions.


As a result of their being forcibly assimiliated into this country, African Americans have adapted by developing their own cultural identities (some people refer to them as "cultural mutations"), which I believe are identifiably different from the American majority. These "cultural mutations" should not be confused with the behaviors of African Americans whose negative behaviors are the result of mistreatment, poverty, and marginalization. The Black Church, for example, is and has been an excellent represenation of how African Americans have successfully adapted to America by creating an institution where they can define themselves and serve their unique needs (unique social, psychological, spiritual, as well as economic needs) in the ways that other institutions (educational, government, social service institutions) cannot.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Truth:
I believe there is but what are your opinions.


As a result of their being forcibly assimiliated into this country, African Americans have adapted by developing their own cultural identities (some people refer to them as "cultural mutations"), which I believe are identifiably different from the American majority. These "cultural mutations" should not be confused with the behaviors of African Americans whose negative behaviors are the result of mistreatment, poverty, and marginalization. The Black Church, for example, is and has been an excellent represenation of how African Americans have successfully adapted to America by creating an institution where they can define themselves and serve their unique needs (unique social, psychological, spiritual, as well as economic needs) in the ways that other institutions (educational, government, social service institutions) cannot.


I agree with Rowe. One is the vestages of African cultural influence synchretized with the dominant Euro-Amerikkkan cultural construct, the other is the reactionary behavior developed to the severe and umique oppression and exploitation experienced because we ar African/Black, and there is a mixture of our roots and our circumstances in all of us...Some possitive, some negative. But the causes/origins shouldn't be confused. And the negatives shouldn't be associated or confused with the residual African traits.


off

One stereotype of "acting Black"is that we talk loud. I always got asked "Why do you Black people talk so loudly?" by Europeans I went to primary school with...who proceded to get cussed out because they weren't asking to just "find out".

I got that question answered once and for all when I went to the mother land. That is a straight African carry over. If white folks think we are loud here...They would go crazy on the continent!
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
One stereotype of "acting Black" is that we talk loud. I always got asked "Why do you Black people talk so loudly?" by Europeans I went to primary school with.


Perhaps you might have responded, "Because we don't have pointy narrow noses that cause us to talk like Kermit the Frog." Our voices are strong, clear, and projecting like a voice should be!
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
One stereotype of "acting Black" is that we talk loud. I always got asked "Why do you Black people talk so loudly?" by Europeans I went to primary school with.


Perhpas you might have responded, "Because we don't have pointy narrow noses that cause us to talk like Kermit the Frog." Our voices are strong, clear, and projecting like a voice should be!


Lol...I wasn't quite that kind...
Schools are closed, because of the 3 inches of snow we got today here in D.C., but as a teacher/lecturer, I speak very loudly all day in class. When I raise my voice, students automatically know that its time to listen to the teacher and end their personal discussions. However, when I come home to talk to my friends and family members, at times, I don't realize that I'm still yelling. People have to remind me that I'm not in the classroom and to bring my voice down.
I used to suffer profoundly from this, but standing before students and having to respond to all of their academic and social demands broke me out of it once and for all. Females tend to be more "shy" than males because females are socialized to associate their femininity with being meek and quiet. I had to learn that showing confidence and assertiveness does not threaten my femininity. Unless you have a communicative or voice disorder, I would seriously consider how your socialization has influenced your choice of communication.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
I used to suffer profoundly from this, but standing before students and having to respond to all of their academic and social demands broke me out of it once and for all. Females tend to be more "shy" than males because females are socialized to associate their femininity with being meek and quiet. I had to learn that showing confidence and assertiveness does not threaten my femininity. Unless you have a communicative or voice disorder, I would seriously consider how your socialization has influenced your choice of communication.


I'm pretty sure the way I talk is not due to negative socialization. My parents didn't raise me that way.
quote:
Originally posted by VirgoGoddess#1:
I guess I'm weird then because I'm kinda soft-spoken and quiet. People always have a hard time hearing me even though I could be trying to talk at the top of my lungs. giveup


It doesn't mean you are "weird"...Like you and Rowe have stated women especially are 'socialized' to be that way. If you are quiet it just means that Amerikkka has beat you over the head with it's Anti-African and Gender oppression batton. We've all been hit in the head with this weapon. It just shows up in different areas for each of us.

Something I've noticed in the South is that Africans born here are equally as "loud" when dealing with each other, as those of us who grew up on the West coast of...but when European/Whites come around they are sheepishly quiet. Quite a disturbing socialization for someone who wasn't used to that at first.
The concept of acting "black", whether acting like an actual color (not possible) or a race of people is another one of those vague and technically incorrect premises that people speak from. The only way one could really act "black" is if they were to mimic a behavior that is actually exclusive to black people. From what I have witnessed in my travels not once race seems to be privy to intelligence or ignorance.....or a certain pattern of behavior. I guess this is another one of those broad azz characterization/castigation of black people.....kind of how the term "urban" is used and commercialized and sold back to us as our culture in order to make money & further normalize the lifestyle(s) in our heads. 'Sigh'...........
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Originally posted by VirgoGoddess#1:
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
Confused

Is there something wrong with being soft-spoken?


That's a really good question because I don't see how the volume of one's speech or the quantity of it is affected by race. It's determined by their personality or,in some unfortunate instances, the way they were raised.


It is effected by culture and society. Culture often coincides with the idea of "race" or ones ethnic grouping. African people on the continent are traditionally very loud when dealing with each other. That is something Africans in Amerikkka have inherited, or rather retained in a large percentage...

I hear continental African people who are loud as hell in their native tongue and extremely soft spoken when talking in English especially when dealing with European/Whites. I don't think that is a coincidence. Have you ever seen a brother born in the U.S. whose pitch goes up a notch or two when dealing with Europeans, and he looses the bass in his voice? Why is that? They are similar things IMO.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Oshun,

It is their conditioning and self-subordination at work......You ought to see some of these negroes in the workplace "put on the ritz" when they see or talk to white folks...


So what do you suggest they do? Go on the job talking about "hand me a copy of those reportizzles my nizzles???" Do you speak in the same manner with your friends as you do your supervisor??? There's a time and place for everything. And apart of being a mature adult is acknowledging the context in which certain forms of speech and language expressions are unappropriate.
Come on, Rowe. There is no need to assume that blacks have two choices: hip-hop slang or flavorless docility. I had a conversation recently about this very same pathetic practice. You must have some serious problems, Rowe, if you think the choice for blacks is between "Fuck dat box; we gots to think outside dat muh-fucka, for rizzle," and an actual changing of the voice itself, along with exaggerated attempts to over-enunciate.
In America, those who have a limited vocabulary and are illiterate especially in terms of reading proficiency and reading comprehension are often the last to be considered for professional job opportunities, the least likely to be understood, and the first one to be ignored. If we were living in a society that is predominately black and predominately black managed, then perhaps black people could afford to entertain ideas about "talking black," but we're not. So let's simply accept the fact that the way one communicates not only reveals our socioeconomic background or socioeconomic status (SES), but communication also reveals our level of education, and to many employers, our overall potential. More importantly, in a society where black youth have enough damn obstacles to overcome, we (that is, parents, guardians, teachers, and mentors) definitely cannot afford to encourage our youth to talk and behave in ways that are counterproductive to their success. In this country, blacks live two completely separate lives. We have our private lives among other blacks. Then we of course have our life among America's majority.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
In America, those who have a limited vocabulary and are illiterate especially in terms of reading proficiency and reading comprehension are often the last to be considered for professional job opportunities, the least likely to be understood, and the first one to be ignored. If we were living in a society that is predominately black and predominately black managed, then perhaps black people could afford to entertain ideas about "talking black," but we're not. So let's simply accept the fact that the way one communicates not only reveals our socioeconomic background or socioeconomic status (SES), but communication also reveals our level of education, and to many employers, our overall potential. More importantly, in a society where black youth have enough damn obstacles to overcome, we (that is, parents, guardians, teachers, and mentors) definitely cannot afford to encourage our youth to talk and behave in ways that are counterproductive to their success. In this country, blacks live two completely separate lives. We have our private lives among other blacks. Then we of course have our life among America's majority.


What does any of this have to do with African/Black men who raise the pitch and lower the volume of their voice to the point that they sound castrated? This is done in Amerikkka when around white folks, by those born here, those newly arrived from the continent, and other parts of the diaspora.

That is what I was referring to...and in turn what Kevin 41 was alluding to...not the use of unprofessional slang.

I know we have all heard this. No resonance left whatsoever. Completely immasculated...Bass GONE...

That's done subconsciousely(and consciousely) because African/Black men are still percieved as threatening in this society(to white folks)...It has little to nothing to do with professionalism.

How what I posted was percieved as alluding to "slang" is beyond me.

Unless you were just bringing up a different subject altogether...
As far as changing one's speech around certain races of people, to me that's an indication of an extremely insecure and fake person. As far as what Oshun said about sounding castrated or weak, that's unfair to people who may not have a deep or loud voice even if they are not trying to not have it. Just because a person may speak softly does not automatically mean they don't carry a big stick and are not a strong person or are castrated.
Please Rowe,

I am a graduate professor who has been lecturing for years and I do not have to talk in a eurocentric nasal manner like Ken Hamblin, perch my mouth like a bird that has no lips and slobber on myself to talk, walk with my butt cheeks together like I got to go doo doo or laugh at everything white people say even when no one else laughs or run to open doors for them or to serve them food at the potlucks.. that is self-subordination....it is what the black conservatives do....most of them...since they cannot dismiss their complexion as an anti-black act, they adopt eurocentric mannerisms and philosophies....which makes them appear to be a freak in blackface. For the fact that you relate talking like a black person to some dysfunctional azz media promoted stereotype says volumes about your perception of black people and our intellectual and oratorical abilities. Does Julian Bond sound like a Mississippi goat farmer? No. Does he sound like that ignorant azz snoop bullschit? No...Does he personify a black intellectual with his mastery of the vernacular? Yes........
Vox said it best.....I do not have to "act" a certain way to define my blackness or to appease whites with the docile negro act.....in the words of my mom....once you wake up and see your face is still black like it was yesterday, it is time to accomplish something....my blackness is generic and defined mostly by a pro-black mindset and not an appearance or act....the other reeks of self-insufficiency....
quote:
Originally posted by VirgoGoddess#1:
As far as changing one's speech around certain races of people, to me that's an indication of an extremely insecure and fake person. As far as what Oshun said about sounding castrated or weak, that's unfair to people who may not have a deep or loud voice even if they are not trying to not have it. Just because a person may speak softly does not automatically mean they don't carry a big stick and are not a strong person or are castrated.


I guess it is still not clear(for whatever reason) what I am talking about. I guess not to many other folk have noticed the phenomenon of which I am posting about...

I'm not necessarilly talking about a person who is soft spoken in general...although often times that is also aculturated. My last post about immasulated African/Black male voices is SPECIFICALLY dealing with folk that change their natural pitch and volume around white folks...of which you just stated is "an indication of an extremely insecure and fake person".

Like previousely stated, I have heard, time and time again. Africans folk from all over the diaspora talk to one another with a certain volume and resonance in our voices...not slang, not ebonics...but volume and depth of tone. As soon as YT comes around, everyone is mysteriously soft spoken and hi pitched. That is odd to say the least.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by VirgoGoddess#1:
As far as changing one's speech around certain races of people, to me that's an indication of an extremely insecure and fake person. As far as what Oshun said about sounding castrated or weak, that's unfair to people who may not have a deep or loud voice even if they are not trying to not have it. Just because a person may speak softly does not automatically mean they don't carry a big stick and are not a strong person or are castrated.


I guess it is still not clear(for whatever reason) what I am talking about. I guess not to many other folk have noticed the phenomenon of which I am posting about...

I'm not necessarilly talking about a person who is soft spoken in general...although often times that is also aculturated. My last post about immasulated African/Black male voices is SPECIFICALLY dealing with folk that change their natural pitch and volume around white folks...of which you just stated is "an indication of an extremely insecure and fake person".

Like previousely stated, I have heard, time and time again. Africans folk from all over the diaspora talk to one another with a certain volume and resonance in our voices...not slang, not ebonics...but volume and depth of tone. As soon as YT comes around, everyone is mysteriously soft spoken and hi pitched. That is odd to say the least.


I get what your saying now and I agree. Smile

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