Talking White

In middle school, I was CONSTANTLY told by peers outside of school and my cousins that I talked “white”. In elementary school and in my middle school classes, I was with other black students who spoke the same way that I did, and therefore, I didn’t stand out.
But my parents also put me into camps and other activities with kids who spoke with a different vernacular.
I dreaded being called on to speak in front of others because I knew that I’d be mocked or made fun of, or worse, being told that I didn’t represent my race. It made me uncomfortable to try to change my voice so it became easier for me to say as little as possible. It became much easier for me to enter into social situations speaking confidently in my own voice because I eventually understood that speaking differently isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m not the only one who speaks this way, and there is no wrong way of “being black”.


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