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"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.

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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

TigOldBitties Mon 23-Sep-13 11:47:45

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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


"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'

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.

TigOldBitties Mon 23-Sep-13 12:43:39

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

Birdsgottafly Mon 23-Sep-13 12:48:02

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

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