African American Language

Changing Styles in Communication!

Posted on: February 21, 2011

For many years and even today we as African-Americans have our own language and our own way of communicating with one another verbally.  Through movies, television shows, and even books African-Americans have been seen to talk and act differently towards individuals who share the same characteristics and values as they do then with individuals that don’t.  Our verbal communication style also sense to change depending on the situation or event that takes place.

This video from the movie Rush Hour “the bar scene” is an excellent example because it shows Detective Carter’s style of verbal communication changing from being loud and aggressive when Detective Lee was present in the room to quiet and friendly after he left.  So it demonstrates how a situation or event can change our style of communication.

When greeting each other most people would just say “Hello…” or “How are you doing?” but on the flip side African-Americans greet each other by saying “wassup” or “Wat’s poppin” depending on who they’re talking to, whose around, and what environment that their in.  Let me ask you a quick question, when was the last time you as an employee said “wassup” or “Wat’s poppin” to your boss?  The answer would probably be NEVER because in that situation you change your verbal communication style so you wouldn’t be looked upon as ghetto or uneducated, come on who would want that on their head.

We as African-Americans have come a long way to make ourselves standout from others but still as a population have no choice but to change the way we speak because we are the number one race being stereotyped for the way we talk and the accents that we have.  In my opinion and in my eye  that’s not right or fair but what can a person do that’s how the world is.

By Shaniquequa Tyler 2/20/2011


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