black

5:59pm

Tue January 27, 2015
Politics

The problem with "sounding white"

Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture

 


We are always adjusting the way we sound. It especially depends on the social situation we are in. Linguists call it "code switching," a term originally used for people who would switch between two different languages like Spanish and English. But the term has evolved to embrace the tone, accents, and inflections that we use when talking to people. Many of us do it.

Growing up, I heard plenty of jokes about the way I spoke. But I couldn't help the way I sounded. It’s a default voice, just how I speak. You see where I grew up, in Las Vegas, there were two types of black kids in school: those who hung out only with other black kids and those who bounced back and forth between black and non-black friends. I was in the second group. With all of that switching back and forth, my voice switched too. And it still does. For example, when I’m on the phone with my sister, the “sistah” comes out. It's not something I’m always conscious of. Sometimes it just sort of happens.

Now as an adult I have fun with it, but as a kid it wasn’t always this way. Finding my voice was just painful. At school, being told I “sounded white” meant only one thing. I wouldn’t be eating my corndog and tater tots at the black kids’ lunch table.

But that was then. Nowadays, in some schools, corn dogs and tater tots have been replaced with tofu dogs and green salad. It got me wondering if the conversation among teens may have changed too. So, I went to a place where I thought I might find some black teens who’ve been accused of “talking white”: the skate park.

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4:46pm

Thu June 20, 2013
Arts & Culture

Museum presents the first-person accounts of slaves

This is the week of Juneteenth – the holiday commemorating the day all black slaves in America were officially freed. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers captured Galveston, Texas. They brought news that the war had ended to slaves in Galveston who had not heard.

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4:40pm

Thu January 31, 2013
Education

Redefining education with Kenneth Monteiro

Prof. Kenneth Monteiro, Dean of Ethnic Studies
San Francisco State University

San Francisco has pioneered many concepts for the country. One of them is recognizing the importance of a college education that’s diverse, and multicultural, reflecting the populace. And so, the country’s first Department of Ethnic Studies was launched at San Francisco State University in 1968.

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5:23pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Out in the Bay - 10/4/12 - Pomo Afro Homos

Out In The Bay goes Pomo Afro Homos!

Pomo Afro Homos onstage

Pomo Afro Homos? Yes, "post-modern African American homosexuals," the groundbreaking black queer performance troupe from the 90's is back! Marilyn Pittman talks with Brian Freeman, one of the founders of the group that made history in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis of the early 90's. He's reprising their signature show, "Fierce Love," with updated material and new performers at The New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco October 17-28. http://www.nctcsf.org/press_room/fierce_love.htm

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9:43am

Fri June 1, 2012
Arts & Culture, African-American film mogul

Out In The Bay: Dexter Davis: the first African-American gay film mogul

 

How does an openly gay African-American man become a film mogul? He acted like one. Hear Marilyn's interview with D Street Media's CEO Dexter Davis. His global film production and distribution company includes productions in Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Los Angeles. He's currently producing a film in Argentina, and a blockbuster heist film in Hollywood. http://www.dstreetmediagroup.com/