The twang

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.




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