Advanced search

"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.

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


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. .

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.

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

What WorraLiberty said. Jafakery is sooo naff...

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

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!

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

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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?

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 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.

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)

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....

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.

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?

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.

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.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 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

fanjoforthemammaries7850 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.

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.

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.

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.

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