Whats Wrong with Black English

Topics: African American Vernacular English, English American, White American Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: March 31, 2011
Brianne Phillips
CENG 106
Dr. Janardanan

When I was young growing up I was teased because I was told that I spoke “white”. Unfortunately in my case, I taught myself to speak the way everyone else spoke and I regret it to this day. At the time I felt if I spoke the same way everyone else did I would be accepted as everyone else. Now that I have reached a level where speaking incorrectly is not acceptable, I have to practice speaking. Rachel L. Jones and Amy Tan both made excellent points on different backgrounds having their own way to converse, but also being able to speak professionally. Amy Tan stated “I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say.” My father has always made fun of the way I speak and I believe he underestimated my intelligence. Recently over spring break I had to write an essay for an internship I was applying for. When he read my paper he admitted to how amazed he was at how well I wrote it. Since I don’t speak correct English all the time he assumed writing was not as strong as he saw it to be. From elementary school to now I have always been told you write the way you speak. I feel that is not necessarily true. I feel when writing you have time to think on what you have written and being able to proofread helps also. When conversing with someone, there is not any time to think about the correct way to say something. I too feel English is a point of view and there is not one perception of it. There are many ways and different accents but one accent is acceptable in the professional world. In “What’s Wrong with Black English”, Rachel explained that she does not agree with William Labov quote “It is the goal of most black Americans to acquire full control of the standard language without giving up their own culture.” I would have to also disagree with Labov because I feel he is expressing that African Americans speak incorrectly. People of all races all...
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