You sound like you are white!

1660f751Lyron Andrews
Long Island City, NY

I used to be a minister back in the late eighties and I was visiting and speaking to a group of mostly elderly and all African-American parishioners in Harlem about managing through adversity. After the talk many approached me and warmly commended me and thanked me for sharing the thoughts. One of the parishioners wasn’t friendly at all and said in a very terse tone, “You sound like you are white!” After getting her name I asked her to consider the scenario of her moving to live in various different countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe and what if that county’s language was something other than English. Would she not put effort into learning that language well and speaking it appropriately with proper enunciation, pronunciation, and word use? Wouldn’t you want to communicate well and be understood by the widest audience of people in that country? Then why not English and why not here and why would you limit yourself by associating proper speech with any color or race?

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  • Doris

    This is a little different, but my name being Doris, and my voice sounding “white”, I have been told many times by people who have only communicated with me through phone, and finally meeting me in person, that they thought I was white and wasn’t expecting me to look like I do. It is irritating.

 

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