After reading “Not White, Just Right”, an article by Rachel Jones, I could not help but relate to her. In the article, Jones elaborates more on her popular essay, “What’s Wrong with Black English” while also mentioning others who share in her opinion. I, too, was ridiculed in school for talking too “white”. In public schools African American students are mocked and shunned by their “brothers and sisters” for speaking or even behaving in an intelligent manner, as if intelligence is unacceptable in our community. I have been the outcast for that single reason. However those who spoke like third graders in the tenth grade were praised and welcomed in the Black community. To that I have to admit that we have fallen from the times of Dr. King and Fredrick Douglas, when we knew as African Americans that we are just as intelligent as Caucasian men.
This is not the future our leaders have fought so hard for. It is infuriating to witness young African Americans not only in public school but in college speaking as if they have no intelligence. I am only a freshman and I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard other freshmen and upperclassmen use grammatically incorrect phrases like, “what that is” and “I ain’t goin nowhere”. Speech like this amongst my African American peers only angered me in high school, now it depresses me. It is depressing to see so many educated African Americans speak as if they had dropped out of high school, just because it is “cool” and they do not want to talk “white”. A mentality like that will always keep us as African Americans at the bottom of society. How do we expect to be seen as equally intelligent as Caucasian people if we do not even speak as if we are educated on a higher level? Therefore, in conclusion, I would like to thank Rachel Jones for writing those two texts about young African American lingual. It is about time that someone made it public to the Black community that this speech is NOT conserving our culture; it is keeping us from reaching our goals and becoming successful.