One interesting part of your post was the part where you talk about ebonics…to a certain extent, you are right, actually. I don’t think that black kids should only know ebonics, because so much of the international dialogue is in Standard American/British English, and it wouldn’t be conducive to our success. However, ebonics, like much of the rest of black culture, is a coping mechanism, a way of history, a language (in my opinon). It’s a code, a way to let other black people know that you are one of them in a world that is whitewashed. I know you might get mad at this paragraph, but let me explain it from my point of view (a black teenage girl). I go to a primarily wealthy white sports camp off of a scholarship. When I’m there, while I am so grateful for the experience, I also sometimes feel suffocated because the majority of people do not understand how it feels to be discriminated against in the same way I do. I feel like I have to adjust the way I speak, even though I do speak “well”, in order for people to understand me. When I saw other black kids, it was a relief for me, in a way. When we talked, it was an affirmation for me, it was like someone saying that you exist, your people exist, there are more of you. It’s very easy to feel like the odd (wo)man out when you are the only one. That’s what I’m trying to say here. Like I said before, ebonics is part of a larger black culture that is primarily trying to hold on to their roots and cope with the systematic genocide that has been happening for years now. Hip Hop was created in order to put black peoples’ struggle into art. It has transformed lives. When we listen to or create music in general, it’s our way of coping, of knowing we are part of a larger system. And not all mainstream Hip Hop is positive, but a lot of the glorification of violence comes from not knowing how to talk about these problems that we are forced to face in our lives. Recently, though, it’s been getting better…Kendrick Lamar, for instance. We have been told for so long by everyone that we have to look a certain way, talk a certain way, act a certain way in order to be okay. Even when we try to do that, we are still told that is wrong, not good enough, ugly, stupid etcetera.
However, when you say the parts about the ghettos, that bothers me a lot. Parents really don’t want their kids to grow up with the disadvantages they are forced to. They just don’t. But a combination of gentrification, generational poverty, and rampant untreated depression can result in living in the only affordable place. In fact, is is proven that middle class black families are charged more for houses in nicer neighborhoods than a white family of similar or even less income. I promise you, mother and fathers are terrified every day of their baby boy or baby girl getting shot on the streets. I live in the ghetto. I have a fairly nice house for the ghetto, but still…I travel several miles to get to a good charter school, and that’s only because my grandma can drive me to a metro station. Otherwise, I honestly don’t know if my family would be able to afford to send me to a good school, or any of my sisters for that matter. So that’s what I have to say about the ghetto statement you made.
If any part of what I said was confusing, please respond so we can talk about it. Have a lovely rest of your day/night :).