Its that particular way of speaking
That draws a certain kind of attention
And is perhaps one of the most polarizing things
In modern black African culture.
The way you speak. That idea of being ‘well spoken’
Being able to roll this English thing on your tongue
As though it were your mother’s.
It says a lot.
About where you went to school.
But to be honest. That’s about it.
It does not tell us how hard you work,
Or whether or not you’ll have a great idea,
It is no indication of how gracious or caring you are
It certainly is not a measure of your intelligence
And best believe it not indicative of how honest or trustworthy you are.
Yet, it does mean all those things.
We have decided to make sounding a certain way
Be synonymous with being a certain kind of person.
Sure, maybe this is an argument against human nature and aesthetics
And the preferences that Western culture has imposed on us all,
But some questions do need to be asked. Like;
What is it about sounding ‘white’ that makes a black person
Seem more ‘refined’ or ‘smart’?
Why do we cringe when an African ‘breaks’ English
Yet we giggle when African names are butchered daily?
And its not even about what you say
Its how you sound while you’re saying it.
This may be cute for the movies
But its insulting for reality.
Why do people that don’t twang have to ‘prove’ their intelligence?
Why do people that do twang feel like they have an ‘upper hand’?
What are we really rewarding?
The next time you find yourself turning off because of someones accent
(Or turned on for that matter)
It may just help to remember that its just a way of speaking
Listen to what they have to say.
A person is more than their accent.
Its just a twang.