African American Language

Posts Tagged ‘verbal

We as humans communicate verbally and non-verbally. Nonetheless,  African Americans have various forms through different mannerisms. It appears that “First African-Americans do it, then everyone else does. ” The words and body languages of African-Americans are portrayed highly in the media.  A great example of this is shown below.

Lil Wayne

Ever wondered where  the word “bling-bling” came from anyway?

African-Americans often rely on body language to get a point across instead of actually stating the problem. There are hundreds of different forms of body language African-Americans do in their daily life. Let’s focus on a few of them.

“Giving the Hand”

This gesture means that the person throwing up their hand is not trying to hear anything the other person has to say. When a person “gives the hand” the other person automatically knows that their point will not get across.

“Fist Bump”

This gesture means one of two things. One, you are greeting another person and instead of actually speaking you touch fists with the other individual.  This is often a simple way to say hello in  the matter of seconds. Another way of using this is , when you are acknowledging to the other person that you are impressed with what they accomplished. Examples: passing of a test, winning an election.

As a child, my mother would often use the “give the hand” gesture when she would be conversing on the phone or when I was interrupting something. I learned to keep quiet faster than from my mother stating to be quiet. Thus, we learn what these forms of body languages mean at an early age and use them as we get older.

Other forms of body language African Americans  use is  ” hands on hips.” This form is dominantly used by African American women.

Hands on Hips

This form is used to show attitude. African American women often do this as a way of letting people know they are mad or want to get their point across. African American males usually don’t do this.

These are definitely not all the forms of body language African-Americans use but, these are some of the most common ones.  A person would say that African-Americans are one of few words. Nevertheless, that is not the case.  An understanding is made that a gesture can go much further than a spoken word.

Written by: Raven 2/13/11



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