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Mark Twain knows what Negro Dialect is

In Real Talk on January 12, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

On August 21, 2009 I wrote the following post that speaks to the issue of navigating a society while maintaining multiple identities. In light of the recent comments made by Senator Harry Reid, I thought it appropriate to revisit the piece.

“i kno u not comin at meh! u shud kno better den dat”

“ain tryna splurge on no real **** so it is wat it is…dey say da cheap **** getchu rt”

“The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me…”

“Yo’ ole father doan’ know yit what he’s a-gwyne to do. Sometimes he spec he’ll go ‘way, en den agin he spec he’ll stay…”
There is a difference of 125 years between the statements offered above. The first group of examples is from users on the social networking site: Twitter. The second is from the characters Huckleberry Finn and Jim in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Published in 1885, this dialect was used to add authenticity to the story. During the time when its use was prevalent there were not many opportunities for black people to educate themselves. Each dialect was also used as a method of geographic identification. As the saying goes, “You can tell by the way I talk I’m not from ‘round here.” In the story, however, mostly everyone spoke in a form of broken English because, regardless of race, education was out of reach. In contemporary society this is not the case, as education is more widely available. This begs the question: Why do so many people who have had the benefit of education still choose to speak in this manner?

To see the remainder of this post, please visit Code-switching: Professional & Mature or Denial of Identity?


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Kin y’all believe dis mane??!

In Satire on January 12, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider Tagged: , , , ,

What does he mean negro dialect?? He think black people talk a certain way?? Like Obama couldn’t of gotten into de White House if he talked like me??

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What Will We Do: Aiyana Jones

In Real Talk on May 18, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider Tagged: , , , ,

I’ve been struggling with this post because I honestly did not know if I wanted to add my voice to this discussion. My perspective is unlike that of most I’ve been reading on Twitter. Some are questioning whether we should be as upset as we are about Aiyana Jones’ death because black children are killed every day by other black children. Uproar incited by a child’s death at the hands of a police officer is simply a bitter salve on a yet unhealed wound. And yet, the uproar seems limited – limited to Twitter. Further, it appears to be limited to black people.

Social media and keyword searches can tell much about the popularity and worth of a topic. Do a Google search for “Aiyana Jones” and you get just 42,200 results. That’s it. 42,200. This happened on Sunday. It’s now Monday at 10:30pm. Look at the Trending Topics on Twitter. Even if you check the TT’s of each city Aiyana is nowhere to be seen. A Facebook page has been started in her honor and it has 2,000 fans. How can this be when something as simple as “Jick Nonas” is the top trending topic in the United States? Sure, there are super-fans who put certain celebrities into the top by constantly repeating the tag; but, when the other trending topics have to do with the Lakers vs Suns NBA Playoff game, I have to wonder what our priorities are.

To this statement:

sistertoldja Don’t let anger over Aiyana Jones’ death make you forget that our people kill more of our own than cops do every single day.

13 hours ago from web

I posed this question:

Interesting comment. We find out about these stories through a media network. Is the problem that those stories aren’t news? @sistertoldja

I didn’t receive a response, so I won’t speculate on her opinion.

Is tragedy in the Black community so common that it is simply not news-worthy? These tweeters had a similar opinion.

natashadixon Aiyana Jones is on my mind right now. And as I am flipping through news pchannels i see no coverage. @thrillchasa #aiyanajones

49 minutes ago from Echofon

Thrillchasa There will be no coverage of Aiyana Jones as the system trenches in to protect itself & find ways to justify its continued murder of us.

34 minutes ago from UberTwitter

What more can we do to make this and other tragedies more worthy of attention to others? For Sean Bell we wore T-shirts, protested, and held rallies. What did that do? What will we do for Aiyana?

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On Loving Myself

In Real Talk on May 5, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider Tagged: , , , , ,

Image from Beyonce's "Why Don't You Love Me?"

Every time I pause to think about love lately, I can’t even fight the emotion that wells up in me. For the first time, though, these are not tears of a selfish desire. I’m filled with emotion at the frustration I have for the women in the world who are so caught up in finding someone to love them and all the songs that keep encouraging this train of thought. There are so many of us walking around the Earth who cannot get over what was done to us by our fathers and mothers that we seek love as if it were a religion. Once found, Love will guide us in the right direction and make everything that hurt us in the past instantly disappear. The painful memories will subside, replaced by the bright, shiny memories of a happier place now that Love has found its way to me.

Sorry. I don’t buy it. In Beyonce’s latest song she asks, “Why don’t you love me?” I really hope some of the lyrics were satirical in nature. Otherwise, girls are going to start wondering why you don’t love me when I make myself easy to love, easy to need, have beauty, class, style, ass, and independence. Because having all of those things are the magic bullet to finding a man. If a man legitimately does not love you, move on. Stop wondering. Why are you wasting your time trying to understand why he does not love you? I get it. Your father didn’t love you, and you did everything you could to make him love you. You were a good daughter. You didn’t act up and make him angry with you. You did well in school and stayed away from those boys who were only after one thing. All of this should have made him stick around. He should have loved you, but he didn’t.

It’s not your fault. No man who comes after your father is going to make up for his actions, either. As human beings we are meant to co-exist. Seeking love in the form of affection from others is natural. Obsessing over it, however, is not. Unless you did something that would cause a person to stop or never start loving you, it’s pointless to question it. Why are you allowing someone else’s issues to take energy away from you?

Stop looking for Love in the form of a significant other to find its way to you in order to be happy. Find Love within yourself. Learn what your true essence is. Once you have discovered your essence – who you are meant to be and what you are meant to do, love that essence, and, then, you will love yourself.

Why Don’t You Love Me – Beyonce

Now, now, now, honey
You better sit down and look around
Cause you must’ve bumped yo’ head
And I love you enough to talk some sense back into you, baby
I’d hate to see you come home, me the kids
And the dog is gone
Check my credentials…
I give you everything you want everything you need
Even your friends say I’m a good woman
All I need to know is why?

Why don’t you love me?
Tell me, baby, why don’t you love me
When I make me so damn easy to love?
And why don’t you need me?
Tell me, baby, why don’t you need me
When I make me so damn easy to need?

I got beauty, I got class
I got style, and I got ass
And you don’t even care to care
Looka here
I even put money in the bank account
Don’t have to ask no one to help me out
You don’t even notice that

Why don’t you love me?
Tell me, baby, why don’t you love me
When I make me so damn easy to love?
Why don’t you need me?
Tell me, baby, why don’t you need me
When I make me so damn easy to need?

I got beauty, I got heart
Keep my head in them books, I’m sharp
But you don’t care to know I’m smart
Now, now now now now now now
I got moves in your bedroom
Keep you happy with the nasty things I do
But you don’t seem to be in tune
Ooh…..

Why don’t you love me?
Tell me, baby, why don’t you love me
When I make me so damn easy to love?
Why don’t you need me?
Tell me, baby, why don’t you need me
When I make me so damn easy to need?

There’s nothing not to love about me
No, no, there’s nothing not to love about me
I’m lovely
There’s nothing not to need about me
No, no, there’s nothing not to need about me
Maybe you’re just not the one
Or maybe you’re just plain……. DUMB

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Oh, Six Flags, Why Do You Suck?!

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider

"Twenty-three-year-old Janet Bello says when she applied for a part-time job at Six Flags in Largo, she was told her "locks" hairstyle disqualified her from employment. "I think it's outrageous and I really think it's just sad," Bello said. She says a supervisor told her management is adhering strictly this year to a years-old corporate grooming policy that considers dreadlocks to be an extreme hairstyle. Bello considers the characterization to be offensive." Source

Six Flags has decided that it is not okay for African-American women to wear their hair in its natural state if they seek employment with their company. Two things are wrong with this. One, why is it okay for every other race to wear their hair in its natural state? No one complains when Hispanic women wear their hair wavy or curly, or when White women wear it straight (or any other style that requires no chemical process to achieve). Why do African-American women have to submit their scalps to the torture of burns, scars, and dangerous chemicals to get the same job? Six Flags, if a White woman wearing dreadlocs sought employment with your company, would you stop her, too? 

These are not extreme locs, Six Flags

These are extreme locs, Six Flags.

Watch the video here

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Real Life Ignorance

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider

What movie did this “5 star chick” get the idea to dance in front of children like a stripper from?

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Usher, Lil Freak and Nicki Minaj: A Dangerous Menage a Trois

In Real Talk on April 15, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider Tagged: , ,

I discovered this video while watching television. As the song came on I thought, “Not a bad beat. Oh, it’s another Usher song. What’s this one about?” As the video continued, I grew increasingly appalled at the message this song was sending. The lyrics and link to the video are below. When I tweeted my disgust, I was informed that this is typical behavior in clubs. I guess I’m older than I thought because I had never heard of this happening. What disturbs me the most about this song is that Usher has children – two boys. Does he not feel responsible to uphold a public image that his children can be proud of and hope to achieve one day? Maybe he’s just as busy as all the celebrity men out there working to have a profession and a personal life that are mutually exclusive.

Little Freak Lyrics

Ay girl yeah you da business, so what da business
Don’t be shy, I’m just talkin to you girl
Aye ma yo where your man at, I know you got that cause you too fine to be single
I swooped this girl up and what I’m about do to you about to feel I did it wrong
Cause I’m about to have a minajah with this lady and some freaks at the bar who like fu**in with a star.

If you’re fu**ing with me girl
you’re fu**ing with me you go get some girls bring them to me
if you fu**in with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
be my little freak
be my little freak
you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
if you fu**in with me girl you’re fu**ing with me
you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak

Hey girl I see you like that
you gettin excited you rockin like a pro with it girls
by the way you got right on that and now you counter kissin on a girl
I’m about to have a minajay with this lady look at those freaks at the bar looking for a star
If you’re fu**ing with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you go get some girls bring them to me
if you fu**in with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
be my little freak
be my little freak
you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
if you fu**in with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak

[Nicki Minaj]
Excuse me lil mama
But you get say I’m on duty
http://www.elyricsworld.com/little_freak_lyrics_usher.html
I’m lookin for a cutie
with a big old ghetto booty
I really like your kitty cat
and if you let me touch her
I know you’re not a bluffer
I’ll take you to go see usher
I keep a couple hoes
like santa I got vixon I got dasher, dancer, prancer,
dixon, comet, cupid, dunder, blixem.
I’m hotter than 100 degrees
A lot of bread no sesame seeds
If i’m in yo city
I’m signin them Tig-O-bitties
I’m plotting on how I can take Cassie away from Diddy
The girls want a Minaj yeah they wetter than the rain then
Usher buzz me in
Everybody loves Raymond

[Usher]
If you’re fu**ing with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you go get some girls bring them to me
if you fu**in with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
be my little freak
be my little freak
you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
if you fu**in with me girl you’re fu**ing with me you let her put her hands in your pants
be my little freak
If you’re fu**in
hey yeah
gonna get it girl

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Who’s to blame for real life ignorance: The writers or the audience?

In Real Talk on April 13, 2010 by Chanelle Schneider Tagged: , , , , , ,

Every time a Tyler Perry movie comes out I prepare myself for the slew of hatred that is bound to come forth from the blogosphere. From the blogs the hatred spreads through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, word-of-mouth, etc…. I can’t do much but roll my eyes at it, wondering where is all this hatred when the Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), for example, are on TV? Its popularity turns it into a Trending Topic on Twitter, a feat that requires hundreds of people be discussing the show every second. Yes….every second for an extended period of time. Being the type of person who wants to understand inconsistencies in human behavior, I try to understand this logic by engaging with people who snarkily castrate Tyler Perry, yet watch RHOA. What is the excuse? You’re allowed to watch whatever you want to watch? That doesn’t seem to work. You judge RHOA as ignorant as you watch it, thus giving it the ratings it needs to survive, but you refuse to watch a Tyler Perry movie? Why? Is television less harmful to the masses than film?

I would really like answers to these questions because I honestly do not understand why it is acceptable to call a man who is writing, producing, and directing movies that aim to teach a specific segment of society lessons by reflecting back to them their own bad behaviors a danger to our society. What is he doing that other men, especially comedians, have not done in the past? Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, to name a few, have all profited from turning racial stereotypes into fodder for mainstream audiences. Lately, comedians have begun using their Twitter accounts as a stage for their “performances”, suggesting that there is no time when their jokes can be considered inappropriate because they are, by profession, comedians, and should not be taken seriously. Using your popularity to start a Trending Topic asking Twitterers to describe when a sexual encounter is not rape is not funny – ever. Who is to blame, though? Is it the fault of the majority of people who decided this was funny because he wasn’t actually raping someone? Is it the fault of the comedian for having such a sick, twisted and irresponsible idea of humor? The #itaintrape and #RHOA hashtags made it to the top of the trending list. Why Did I Get Married, Too never did. Not once. Maybe Perry’s problem is that he is not making his detractors laugh hard enough.

****Warning**** NSFW!

If the problem is his impact on society, then is it possible that the problem is with society and not him? If you tell someone not to tolerate a man who is not treating you properly, and they do it anyway, are you going to blame yourself? If you tell a girl not to go out of the house wearing tiny t-shirts and shorts if she’s looking for a man who will treat her with respect, but she insists on doing it, will you blame yourself? The fact is that we have been repeating trite archetypes because we do not learn our lesson from the people who are trying to teach it to us. Maybe the reason his haters are so tired of seeing these same characters over and over again is because they have learned the lesson and want something that relates to their complex issues of being a different type of black person.

Why Did I Get Married, Too is not without its faults. The ending is contrived and rushed, which caused some in the theater to chortle unexpectedly. As in all Tyler Perry movies, there are a few lessons to be learned, but some who choose to denounce his work without even watching the movie won’t see past the flaws to the message. Those who did not see the movie have little place to comment. All you’re doing is jumping onto a bandwagon full of people who want to participate in what some black people love to do – hate on something a black person has done because it takes issues within the “family” outside of said family. Yes…we can be ignorant in the house but will be damned if some Other person sees it. Tyler Perry is writing, producing, and directing his movies. If you don’t like them, do something about it. Challenge him. Or, better yet, challenge society to do better. Just because a story doesn’t relate to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen in society. The Angela character is written as a guide of what not to do and who not to be. Perry wants people to laugh at her because her behavior is so ridiculous. The women who see themselves in her should be shamed into behaving differently. That is the purpose of his characters. Maybe the people who are so wont to despise him are privileged enough to avoid seeing these types of people, but his characters are based on people that many see every day. So, before you critique it, make sure you’re taking an objective look at the movie.

****UPDATE**** Freaknik is coming back to Atlanta. If someone shot a movie of that, would it be a realistic portrayal of the richness of black culture?

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