Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

"Don't talk black - you're not black"

(81 Posts)
MoistJoist Mon 23-Sep-13 09:56:53

Said very proudly by a parent to her DS (upon his picking up slang from boys at school) as "it's not his culture".

AIBU to wonder WTF is "talking black"?! I had no idea that all black people were some homogenous cultural mass with a singular way of expressing themselves.

TaperJeanGirl Mon 23-Sep-13 10:05:42

Here it would be using the words fam, cuz, ever watched top boy? I call it " speaking like a street rat" and is by no means only black people that speak like it here, I hate it and would not allow my kids to speak like it around me.

MaidOfStars Mon 23-Sep-13 10:10:12

Given that he has picked it up* from the people he hangs around with, it sounds like it most definitely is his culture.

*Whatever 'it' is. Can't rid myself of the image of that old lady talking 'jive' in Airplane....

fluffyraggies Mon 23-Sep-13 10:13:00

I do know what's meant by 'talking black', i think.

DH has a couple of white 'lads' (in their early 20s) (both from well off backgrounds as it happens) working for him at the mo who do seem to put allot of effort into sounding as if they are from a black street culture.

Unreasonable to think that black people are a homogenous mass though, of course.

comingalongnicely Mon 23-Sep-13 10:13:41

Could be worse, round here they'd say he was speaking like a "Wigger".

I can understand the sentiment, but there are better ways to say it!

BrokenSunglasses Mon 23-Sep-13 10:17:08

I understand the sentiment too, and I would tell my children to stop talking like some own they are not no matter what the slang/accent/dialect was.

MoistJoist Mon 23-Sep-13 10:18:42

But what is the sentiment/"black street culture"? It's like saying "white culture" - yet, the French differ from the British, they from the German, they from the Russians, they from the Danish etc etc (also not negating the fact that French, British, German, Russian and Danish people are not all white!)

In the same way, the Zimbabweans differ from the Kenyans, they from the South Africans, they from the Ghanians etc etc (also not negating the fact that Zimbabweans, Kenyans, South Africans and Ghanians are not exclusively black!).

emuloc Mon 23-Sep-13 10:21:59

That is right MoistJoist but judging from some of the replies on here some posters would need educating on those facts. Perhaps then they would not sound so ignorant.

DumDum32 Mon 23-Sep-13 10:26:32

I don't see anything wrong in talking in slang or with an accent or dialect as I speak like that when I'm with my friends. However at work it's a different matter & I would not speak in slang at work as its unproffessional. as long as kids know when to take in that manner & when not to I don't see it as a problem. all of my generation & the generation after us have managed to do this without any trouble so I don't see why the current generation of children can't do the same. Then again I've grown in a very multi-cultural part of London so I suspect my view is slightly biased.

MotherofBear Mon 23-Sep-13 10:35:19

I think it would be better described as talking 'street'. I know exactly what that mum means, it's a particular style of talking which is popular with many teens and young adults. 'Dis' 'dat' 'dose' 'innit' instead of 'this' 'that' 'those' etc. I don't actually know how they talk that way, it seems to be an abrupt and short way of talking. As if they don't really know how to pronounce the words properly (I'm talking of those brought up in this country, not those who have English as a second language).

MoistJoist Mon 23-Sep-13 10:39:13

I can understand a recognised form of "street/urban" culture but it was just the way in which she automatically connected her negative feelings about a particular way of talking to "black people" that gets my goat.

Norudeshitrequired Mon 23-Sep-13 10:41:26

Maybe he was talking / trying to talk patois.
If he was speaking patois then it would be fair to say that he was 'speaking black' as patois is the English lexified creole language used in Jamaica.
Unless you have a Jamaican accent then attempting to speak patois usually sounds ridiculous.
I think the mother had a point, although worded her point very badly.

MotherofBear Mon 23-Sep-13 10:42:45

I can completely understand your feelings, OP. Most people don't really have any idea or awareness of how things they say can be negative towards cultures or races or nationalities.

squoosh Mon 23-Sep-13 10:44:22

Tim Westwood makes me cringe with his affected street accent. His father was a bishop.

SweetSeraphim Mon 23-Sep-13 10:44:53

I don't think it's patois though - there is a very specific street language that is a mish mash of loads of stuff. Like Plan B in Harry Brown, for example.

peggyundercrackers Mon 23-Sep-13 10:49:40

she probably thought her ds was trying to talk like a nigerian 'would-be' gansgter. if someone said 'stop talking black' i would understand exactly what they were saying.

DumDum32 Mon 23-Sep-13 10:55:56

I agree moist but unfortunately some people are very ignorant in that sense & are scared of anything unfamiliar so they automatically put it down to the only thing they know.

MoistJoist Mon 23-Sep-13 11:03:56

But Jamaicans are not the only black group in the UK, nor are they even the majority.

And peggyundercrackers re: your reference to a "nigerian 'would-be' gangster" and how you would link that to understanding what "talking black" means, do you actually realise how ignorant/uneducated that comes across as? Can you see how certain people (including you) appear to automatically link "talking black" to/with a negative image?

umiaisha Mon 23-Sep-13 11:05:51

All the white kids speak in what we call 'jafake-an' round here (West London). Makes me cringe and all the black kids I know find it hilarious!!

DumDum32 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:08:30

"wow" it seems ignorance is bliss for some! shock

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Mon 23-Sep-13 11:15:35

It is wrong to connect a dislike of slang-heavy speech with Black cultures as the mother did and the media re-enforces.

That response leads me to think that is highly unlikely that the child was using slang or an accent on Black Kenyan or Zimbabwean speech - cultures don't just rest on nationalities. I find it odd to be going on Ghana and South Africa when the most common modern slang in "standard English" is most often co-opted from dialects of colonized Black cultures such as patois or AAVE (particularly as the American media appropriates it and portrays the harmful image of using AAVE as a shorthand for uneducated often and such shorthand has become common in British media as well along with other dialects). I would pull my children up on using appropriated slang and dialect, not for any negative on "sounding black", but because of the long history of disrespect of such dialects and harm that such co-opting has caused underpowered groups.

MrsOakenshield Mon 23-Sep-13 11:16:37

I think I kind of know what that person meant, though they have put it badly. I live in a majority West African part of town, and the younger (probably British born) kids speak in a kind of semi gangsta drawl (so they're not Cockney which is what the 'native' accent would have been here, iyswim). Anyway, my point is that it sounds absolutely ludicrous when any white kids speak like that, even though I can see why they would as it's the predominate way of speaking amongst their peers. (TBH to my ears it sounds like a fake accent, whoevers using it, but ridiculous if it's a white child - if DD ever spoke like that I would be unimpressed - it would be an affectation like Jamie Oliver talking Mockney).

fluffyraggies Mon 23-Sep-13 11:17:16

dum dum - are you angry with the posters saying they wouldn't want their children to talk like that, or with the way some posters (me included) are trying to describe the style of speech we're on about? Genuine Q.

I was wary of posting because i wasn't sure what to call it. I know how it sounds, and yes, the black people i know do take the piss out of the white guys trying to be all cool and down on the street by emulating them.

Patoir is a whole proper language surely. It's a mix up including French isn't it?

nobodysbaby Mon 23-Sep-13 11:23:55

Linguists call it multicultural London English, and it is neither fake nor Jamaican. It's a consequence of young people growing up in a multicultural environment, and Paul Kerswill did a fab TED talk about it if anyone is interested - itZ's on Youtube. Our parents probably thought we sounded stupid when we were teenagers you know.

edam Mon 23-Sep-13 11:28:56

It's called 'jafake-an' where I used to live. Sounds daft to me, especially from the lips of white, middle class teens who are trying to sound as if they are from the ghetto, bless them.

DumDum32 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:29:58

fluffy - I'm not angry at anyone sorry if it came across that way. What I'm trying to say is regardless of what the parents think children will speak in the manner their peers speak in whether it be cockney or as described by the mother "talking black". I do not see anything wrong with it. Around our part of London we call it "street" language & it's affiliated with any race/nationality. children take the piss out of everythling whether it be the way someone speaks or the way they dress or the hair cut of someone. where do u draw the line on what's appropriate? I think let the children be. As I said I'm slightly biased as I am one of those people that talks "street" with my friends.

fluffyraggies Mon 23-Sep-13 11:36:34

Thanks dum.

I can understand totally how it's natural for kids to speak in the manner of their peers, if it comes naturally and easy, as it does for you smile

lljkk Mon 23-Sep-13 11:36:35

N-word makes me cringe whoever said it, but Made me cringe extra when Quenton Tarantino repeatedly spouted the N-word in one of his flicks. I don't care what cultural affinity he feel he has, it again revealed what a twerp he is.

34DD Mon 23-Sep-13 11:37:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fluffyraggies Mon 23-Sep-13 11:39:00

34DD - ''is it 'cos i is black?'' grin

DumDum32 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:42:49

LOL Ali G is a "Don" grin

My DH says this to our DC, but he's a black Jamaican who speaks patois, so its a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, literally.

My DC are therefore black but sometimes, in certain situations he will tell them to stop talking so black. On the other hand when they are sounding just like me or my side of the family, pure cockney, there might be a comment about them being so white.

It's just shorthand for a certain kind of speech.

34DD Mon 23-Sep-13 11:48:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DumDum32 Mon 23-Sep-13 11:54:00

Damn "34DD" u Iz so down wid dis lingo, Respect blud grin grin grin

lifesgreatquestions Mon 23-Sep-13 11:54:34

It's the current cool thing to do isn't it. My white niece rolls her head on her shoulders, one hand on hip, wagging a finger saying "Oh no he di'nt!" It doesn't seem natural to me, but I really think it does to her. Her culture isn't just her racial heritage, it's also other teenagers and tv and whatever is deemed cool at the moment.

For those who like Alanis Morisette (spelling? can't be bother to google!) there was a time when loads of girls replicated her walk, which to me looked either emotionally vulnerable or like a mild physical disability. It was "cool" for that group.

Episode Mon 23-Sep-13 11:56:04

@34DD

"LOL - no love its because I'm white, the black man supresses me so I'm angry now, so I take his words and his girls and then use them on the street (I dont have an adequate translation for to 'rass')"

Was that okay?

I have no idea what you are actually saying though!!!

34DD Mon 23-Sep-13 12:00:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Mon 23-Sep-13 12:01:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Norudeshitrequired Mon 23-Sep-13 12:08:19

The adequate translation for rass would be arse.
Rass clart translates to arse cloth, but is more commonly understood as the equivalent of arsehole, shithole or less commonly a derogatory term related to menstruation.
Kiss me rass clart would mean kiss my arse hole.

Man chuh, yu inna mi way, move your rass clart.
That would be an impolite way of saying 'excuse me please, you are blocking my way'
grin

TwerkingNineToFive Mon 23-Sep-13 12:09:20

I think its a film called 'Not another teen movie' that does a brilliant send up of this phenomenon, lots of the young boys dress in traditional Chinese clothing and adopt a fake Chinese accents to be cool.
Did anyone see celebrity big brother the guy from five spoke with a Jamaican accent. Sounds silly to me.
I'm not a teenager and I suppose lots of the things I did would seem a bit funny to the older generation. I certainly would tell child not to use slag like 'bruv' but I'd probably be a bit hmm

Episode Mon 23-Sep-13 12:16:26

I am black and I cannot see how anybody would think it was okay for people to attribute something so diverse with a negative connotation to being black.

Being black myself, if I were standing next to the mother and child and heard 'stop speaking so black' I would take offence. I would take offence because:

1. We do not all speak a certain way!

2. You are associating one form of speech to millions of people and giving your child the impression that such ignorance is okay.

But more importantly, I would think you were stupid!

All that being said, as another poster wrote, kids will be kids so leave them too it. All of them, Black and White will grow out of it.

The TED talk that was posted was very interesting and a good base for some of you to start. I would further this and say a lot of slang is founded on intelligence in that one word has many meanings and this is of course linked to immigration.

If you try and read Arabic for example, a lot of it cannot be translated simply into English. Sometimes a sentence is needed to translate a single word.

Take a slang word like 'fam'. What does it actually mean? And how would you place that in a sentence if you tried to place it using English grammar? You couldn’t! But you could in other languages. Often kids make words up to fill voids which appear in their native languages when speaking in the English language. Other words to think about are 'Peak', 'Heavy', 'Sick'....

I'll think of more.....

fluffyraggies Mon 23-Sep-13 12:19:24

In my teens i was invited to a party in a flat in W London once. All black Jamaican except me. Flat stripped bare, speakers the size of sofa's. Arrived as the sound system was being tested out. All reggae. Amazing.

Guests stood around waiting for it to get going, most speaking patoir - me struggling, felt awful having to keep saying sorry? pardon?

One guy wandered over smiling and asked me (i thought) how long i'd known the host. ''Oh just over three years'' i chirped, happy i'd understood for once. He looked at me strangely, said 'ahhh' and sort of sidestepped gradually away sipping his drink.

Found out later he'd actally asked me how long i'd been there waiting for the party to start blush

I always think of that when patoir is mentioned.

Episode Mon 23-Sep-13 12:20:22

LOL Norudeshitrequired

steppemum Mon 23-Sep-13 12:31:28

OP - YANBU as the comment from the mum to me sounds racist.

It isn't about whether or not ds should be using this slang, it is the way she said it.

My ds tries this talk and I laugh and say he isn't a rapper, he can save it for when he is on stage.

We have had interesting conversations about how language changes in different context - playground/classroom/Granny's house wink

musicismylife Mon 23-Sep-13 12:40:48

Look, I do not think that what the mother said was racist. She said stop talking 'black'. Let's not pretend that we do not know what she is on about.

Put 100 people in a room and ask them what talking 'black' means. They will all come up with street slang. Ask 100 people in a room what talking white means. They will come up with the queen's english.

It's not nice what she said but she prefers it that her child does not speak like that. Not quite sure what there is to be offended about.

I'm black btw.

Episode, you are right in regards to language and filling a void, and even though I, like most people find it quite laughable that a kid from the bad streets of....Chipping Norton etc might feel an affinity with a certain culture, but once a word has entered their language its hard to find a suitable replacement.

As I said my DH speaks patois (not with me, with his family) and some of my family have different first languages to English because of being Jewish immigrants. Sometimes they just can't find another word, so I will get a sentence of queens English with a totally foreign word in. There isn't always a direct translation. A bit like a British person trying to explain posh, common or middle class to someone who has never been here.

Thepowerof3 Mon 23-Sep-13 12:46:05

I think 'fam' is short for family

It isn't a racist statement.

We are allowed to shorten what we have got to say when speaking to our children, we should still not try to offend anyone overhearing, though.

I'm from Liverpool, my middle DD went through these stupid sounding accents, I would often say "you're not from Scottie Road" ( think C Black), or Tocky (Toxteth) which is more street sounding.

Sometimes I use an example of other places, especially to describe a certain fashion, or look.

I am not saying that those things are inferior, I am just describing them, without needing to go into long sentences and we are allowed to do that within our families.

It doesn't have to involve putting anyone down and I realise that it is a lazy way of doing that, so more if an effort should be made when in public, but sometimes you forget.

I am usually the biggest advocate of how our use of language shapes our attitude.

Norudeshitrequired Mon 23-Sep-13 12:48:16

Look, I do not think that what the mother said was racist. She said stop talking 'black'. Let's not pretend that we do not know what she is on about.

I'm also black and I totally agree. I don't think the mother was being racist; she just made a poor choice of words to tell her son to use his own accent.
If my son was using any accent other then his own I would think he was being very foolish and would question him about why he was using a different accent.
We don't actually know the manner in which the child was speaking:
If he was using an accent associated with Africa or the Caribbean then it could be argued that he was 'talking black'
If he was using an Asian accent then it could be argued that he was 'talking Asian'
If he was using street slang then it is probably appropriate to say he was 'talking like a complete fool'.
Whichever it was the mother should have just said 'use your proper accent and normal language or just keep quiet because you sound like a moron'

musicismylife Mon 23-Sep-13 12:49:26

I suppose the mother shouldn't have generalised. But otoh, we do know what she meant and I think it's ridiculous to pretend that we don't.

I'm just trying to 'keep it real' hmm

Episode Mon 23-Sep-13 13:16:59

If my son was standing next to her whilst she said this, he would not associate that speech with me, and in being black too, himself!

Why or how is it okay for any old numpty to give ideas to my son about who he is and how his people speak? And with that, a subconscious element how he is expected to speak/behave or how he should!

His hum, dad, nan, grandad, brother, uncles, cousins and the list could go on, DO NOT speak like that. We are all black.

So I take offence beacuse it is a short sighted blanket term and most importantly INCORRECT!

If I take my feeligns out of the equation I look to my children sometimes for the answer. I challenge any parent to tell me they'd be okay in a group full of white kids, with your child being the only black one, to witness that sentence.

On face value as adults of course we have to take many things with a pinch of salt.

But children are different and they need to be protected. I am not saying the the mother said what she did out of malice but if you are okay with your child hearing that then I strongly urge you to be careful not to allow your children to internalise other peoples ignorance, stereotypes, and assumptions about them and how they should be bahave.

If you dont, then regardless of what you do and how you are at home, you will have 'black' moments that you probably thought you were going to avoid! Because in you saying it's not offence because this language is 'black' you do realise that to most people before anything your child is too!!!

And at some point they WILL learn this lesson outside of home.

I hope I do not come accross patronising but I for one will dictate what my children think is black and teach them how to diffrentiate, african, west indian, south african, north, east, west, Nigerian, Ghanain, Jamaican etc etc etc between 'Street' and that is what this language is. I hope you will too!

There is so much harm in point blank assoicating street with black. So much!

Chickensoupyum Mon 23-Sep-13 13:25:47

Did he mean patois? I think it's ridiculous to talk as if you belong to a different culture.

namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 23-Sep-13 13:27:15

Understanding what someone means doesn't mean that what they're saying isn't offensive. I understand the words in every point the BNP make. Doesn't mean they're not a huge bunch of racist arseholes.

FrigginRexManningDay Mon 23-Sep-13 13:28:00

Round here its called skanger,a sort of mix up of american slang,British slang and dublinese. I have a thick Dublin accent but this generation is like a whole new language.

Norudeshitrequired Mon 23-Sep-13 13:41:29

I hope I do not come accross patronising but I for one will dictate what my children think is black and teach them how to diffrentiate, african, west indian, south african, north, east, west, Nigerian, Ghanain, Jamaican etc etc etc between 'Street' and that is what this language is. I hope you will too!

The OP has referred to it as 'slang from the playground' but that in itself can mean a whole variety of things and could well be street language or could be patois or something else.
Certainly where I grew up (a very multicultural area) it wasn't uncommon for the kids of West Indian heritage to go about saying things like ' a wha de rass' and 'bumba clart', that was the 'slang' used by lots of black kids in the area. Both of those phrases I would associate with patois and therefore Jamaica (which is a majority Black Country).
If the OP means the boy was saying things like 'innit' then it (in my opinion) isn't language associated with black people, but is language associated with foolish people who think it is a cool way to speak. Anybody that thinks such language is 'black language' needs to get an education.
My children wouldn't be offended by somebody using that phrase because my children are well educated and are confident with their identity.

Sadly rappers are not helpful when it comes to this emergence of street language, but then most rappers come across as Uneducated fools anyhow.
To be honest I think most rappers deserve to be shot for crimes against themselves - going about using the N word and talking about women in derogatory ways etc.
I am black but if my sons came home speaking like that I wouldn't be mincing my words.
I wouldn't be referring to their language as 'black', but that's because I'm not an ignorant fool. Some people just don't know any better, but ignorance and racism are two separate (although sometimes interlinked) issues.
Have you even considers the fact that the mother was concerned that her son would get ridiculed by his peers if she didn't tell him to stop? When I was at school white people trying to use patois etc would have been ridiculed to the max.
She did make a poor choice of words but I don't think we can read more than that from the info given.

Episode Mon 23-Sep-13 14:14:16

Norudeshitrequired - I see your point regarding street vs patois and it would be good for the OP to come back an clarify!

I must admit I made an assumption based on my age! I was in school/college/uni less than 10/7/5 years ago and I have younger brothers and sisters as well as cousins etc. I live in South London so in terms of 'black' culture im not sure there is anywhere else in the UK that has more.

IME Patois usage has not been prominent in youth dialect since the 90's. It certainly dosent cross over to white or even african children in the way it used to since 'street' slang has replaced it AND as its own language is comprehansive.

I do see young west indian children/adults flick between patois and street slang but I do not and have not in a long long time seen anybody else do it. I would say that amongst black kids though, parts of the Nigerian and Ghanian language are becoming widely used and I wonder if this is reflective if the music but this is a kind of internal black thing and its something thats done amongst friends and 99% time done in a playful context.

Street slang is definately english and used amongst white, black, asian and what ever else in equal measures and I dont think anybody needs to move into patois to improve thier social standing. It just wouldnt and in fact never has worked!

You are right ignorance and racism whilst close are not the same, but for me neither are something I am prepared to expose my children to especially when it stereotypes them!

So for that reason I would not be happy with her use of this in public with children in ear shot (especially black children). We all want to protect our children and if her child is schooled around here I myself would advise her to tell him to stop. It will do his credibility no good whatsoever.

Similalry though, I find it offensive in equal measures when white people think they should talk that way to me because I am black and therefore equal street. I binned a boyfriend for that shit.

Yeh and F* rappers! Well most of them ;-)

Latara Mon 23-Sep-13 14:40:31

I've never heard a black person talking in the way the mother meant so I wouldn't call it ''speaking black''.

I call it ja-fake-an because the media do - it's really funny to hear coming out of the mouth of a 20-something here in Dorset for example.

SaucyJack Mon 23-Sep-13 14:40:56

I call it Jafakan too, and I would most definitely tell mine to stop, if they start doing it when they're older.

We live iun the Home Counties- not Trenchtown. It sounds ridiculous.

thebody Mon 23-Sep-13 14:48:33

always reminds me of that posh violinist Nigel Kennedy talking in a rough cockney accent and posh Lilly Allen doing the same.

You also hear some environmental protestors who are obviously living in daddy's hand outs putting on 'working class' accents so yes completely see the parents point.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 23-Sep-13 14:48:42

MoistJoist. .I think YABU to say you wonder what she meant. .I'm sure you know very well what she meant.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 23-Sep-13 14:51:11

Not saying I agree with the mother.
But I live in Edinburgh where people tend to speak in their own accents and still it has filtered through to my elderly brain

peggyundercrackers Mon 23-Sep-13 14:59:13

moistjoist - no i dont see how it is negative - it is what it is. the only thing i see is you getting upset... i live in a part of scotland which doesnt really have a black culture and people who do try and talk like this get the piss taken out of them because they its just plain stupid and they just look like a twat.

Ilovemyrabbits Mon 23-Sep-13 15:00:15

We call it Jafaken here. DD has a couple of friends who tried it out. We live in a leafy suburban area where street culture is limited but there are a number of boys in particular, from middle class families, who feel the need to talk like gangsters. I'm convinced it's linked to their love of all things rap and their desire to rebel.

I agree with OP that 'talking black' is a horrible phrase, completely disrespectful and doesn't actually sum up the situation. From the mum's perspective, I suspect she meant her son sounded like an idiot for trying to sound black, rather than that blacks sounded stupid tho and thus, so did her DS by attempting to sound 'street'. A very ill thought out way of saying it.

Jafaken sums it up for me...a made up word for a made up accent.

thebody Mon 23-Sep-13 15:04:02

it's a reverse Hyacinth Bouquet.

obviously people will take the piss and if my kids did this I would take the piss out of them and advise them not to be so daft.

find it almost incredible that you don't understand this op?

wordfactory Mon 23-Sep-13 15:05:56

Street slang/urban dialect is what the woman in the OP meant.

It is not only used by black people. Not at all.

It does, however, have lots of words in it that come from prodominantly black cultures.

BurberryQ Mon 23-Sep-13 15:09:34

hmm i do say to my son when he says to me 'whats the drillie cuz?' (WTF?) 'stop talking like that you are not black' - then he tells me i am racist etc etc....

raspberrybombe Mon 23-Sep-13 15:15:55

This forum always appears to be people being offended at everything!

(unless it is from a minority - then it is 'free speech)

RunRabbit Mon 23-Sep-13 15:39:23

I do think she used a poor choice of words with: Don't talk black - you're not black. But I know what she means and I wouldn't think it was meant to be offensive.

I see it as slang that is used mostly in cultures where the people are predominantly Black. Like Jamaican.

So yes I do cringe when someone who so obviously does not come from said culture speaks like that.

And to recognise that slang comes from a certain place doesn't mean you think ALL people from that place speak like that. Some people speak slang others don't.

Some people speak cockney slang but to say that doesn't mean you think all Londeners/English people speak that way.

MoistJoist Mon 23-Sep-13 15:48:03

Let's put it this way - I am black, my DS is black. I did find it offensive - apparently, to her, black people speak "street" - yet I am black and I certainly do not speak in the prescribed way she was talking about/describing ("innit", "blud", etc etc), nor do my family, friends etc.

And BurberryQ, is it only black people that speak like that? Do all black people speak like that? If your answer is no to either of those questions, how can you refer to it as him trying to talk as though he is black? Once again, I'll say this - black people are not some homogenous cultural mass.

The reason a lot of people laugh at street slang is because they find it an inarticulate/uneducated way of speaking, and that's what the mother meant when she said she was unhappy with her son speaking in such a manner. Can you not see why to then call it "speaking black" is offensive, ignorant and demeaning?

It's very easy to gloss over it by claiming people take offence way too easily. I tend to find those that spout that are the most offensive of all (or they almost certainly wish to be but just hate the possibility of their being called up on it).

RunRabbit Mon 23-Sep-13 16:21:39

Well no one can tell you what you should/shouldn't find offensive.

Ok, so if you were offended by it. Did you say anything to her so she would not repeat the offence again?

Or are you putting all your hope into her being psychic?

thebody Mon 23-Sep-13 16:27:08

well as a brummie we are well used to people taking the piss out if our accents here.

we are described as sounding thick, slow, dim etc.

shoulder shrug really. not of the professionally offended. unless you call me black county of course!! grin

34DD Mon 23-Sep-13 16:42:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

emuloc Mon 23-Sep-13 18:21:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrspremise Mon 23-Sep-13 19:02:03

I told a boy at the school where I work to stop talking like Tim Westwood last year. He never spoke like it again! grin

4athomeand1cooking Mon 23-Sep-13 19:05:34

I grew up in east london in the 80's and during that time certain areas were associated with different cultures and racism still existed largely.

Hackney was extremely multi-cultural and many people sp

4athomeand1cooking Mon 23-Sep-13 19:07:12

Sorry in phone .....

Spoke like abs from 5ive.

Weirdly though it was mostly the white population that spoke like this but i frequently heard the term "speaking black" when referring to people originating from hackney!

WorraLiberty Mon 23-Sep-13 19:15:39

All the white kids speak in what we call 'jafake-an' round here (West London). Makes me cringe and all the black kids I know find it hilarious!!

Same round here, except a lot of the black kids talk 'Jafake-an' too, but try to convince people it's because they are black, that they talk that way.

Ridiculous really, since some of their parents are extremely well spoken grin

In the street they'll say things like "Wh-appen blad?"

Then their parents will come round the corner and they'll say, "Hello Mummy/Daddy"....

Makes me laugh every time grin

MistressDeeCee Mon 23-Sep-13 20:07:14

What WorraLiberty said. Jafakery is sooo naff...

edam Mon 23-Sep-13 20:22:29

Moist - I laugh at white, middle class kids talking street because it's so fake. It's the disconnect between who they are and what they are pretending to be that's funny.

Nothing to do with sneering at black kids, or indeed at anyone talking street if they come from somewhere where that's the dominant mode of speech. It's just as daft as if teenagers from St Albans were trying to talk Brummie if somehow a broad Brummie accent was perceived as cool.

I can see why you were offended by the woman but equally I don't think she meant to be disparaging.

NotDead Mon 23-Sep-13 20:52:26

it is weird how the 'street' accent in london including amongst black third generation Jamaican sounds more like white kids doing a fake jamaican accent in the 80s. The lLondon street accent when compared with genuine jamaican English sound s floor flat and false by comparison. .

NotDead Mon 23-Sep-13 20:53:16

blood...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now