//Drawn By Edriel Fimbres

By: Leshay Jones, Staff Writer.

One beautiful Sunday morning, I was at my church in Harlem having a conversation with three of my friends before service.
One my friends stops our conversation and said, “I’m not gonna hold y’all, but y’all sound mad white.”
When it comes to language, there are millions of dialects that people use depending on where they are from and how they are brought up.
Many people would expect me to speak in African-American English (AAVE), especially my African-American peers.
However, I have been told more times than I can count that I talk like I am white.
When you look into the world of linguistics of the American language, Standard English is the most commonly spoken version.
Often times, people who speak AAVE know how to switch to Standard English depending on their environment. It is almost like speaking two languages.
I found at a young age that it is tiring to keep switching the way that I talk, so I stuck with the one that I was more comfortable with which was Standard English.
I grew up in a family that, for the most part, spoke Standard English. My grandmother, who doesn’t have much of an education, even tries her best to speak properly.
However, similar to a lot of black people, we had our moments, and we still do.
I also went to a predominately white school when I was a kid and, at one point, was the only African American in my class. So, like most children still learning how to behave, I modeled my surroundings.
What really bothers me is that Standard English, or proper English as most would call it, is associated with being White.
I have an education – one that is very expensive. I like to use that education in my speech.
Just because I don’t say the N-word in every other sentence, or just because I don’t use slang 24/7 doesn’t mean that I talk like I’m “white.”
A lot of black people still have that mentality that we live separately from white people, and I get it. We have been scorned time and time again by the white man.
Many black people talk themselves down to the point where we can’t speak proper English because that’s how white people talk.
It is a shame that my people still associate education with white people after all that our people have done for us to be able to say we even have an education.
I have even been told that I want to be white because of the way I talk which I find completely ridiculous.
The color of your skin and the way you speak should have no correlation but, unfortunately, it still does.
I am an African American woman and the way I speak will never change that fact.