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When Is the Right and Wrong Time?

African American news from Pasadena - Jasmine Doxey Commentary on EbonicsI have noticed that a large number of the Black youths and youths of color use Ebonics as a part of their everyday vernacular largely because of the perception that you will sound White, if you do not.

Would somebody please tell me why I should believe that? Because I beg to differ. There is nothing wrong with sounding educated and showing that you have some schooling. If you insist on speaking in this fashion, I will attempt to answer this question in the way I see fit.

When is the right and wrong time to use Ebonics? It is one thing to use slang when you are in your comfort zone, surrounded by friends and family, and  another when trying to make a good impression on someone.

When surrounded by friends and family, naturally an individual would feel more carefree and comfortable to joke around in a playful manner. However, do not - I repeat - do not use slang in a professional setting. If you have been schooled on the correct way to speak, utilize it. You are down grading yourself by failing to do so and are by no means helping to prove the stereotypes otherwise. Because you seek to break the stereotypes, this does not mean that you are, white. It just simply goes to show that you are educated, not to mention it also makes you seemingly  more approachable and personable.

We, as today’s youth are hard-headed, and the last people we want to listen to are the ones who know what they’re talking about, like our parents and grandparents. I see no harm in speaking Ebonics among those who know you well and with whom you are familiar with. However, take heed not to make it a habit and know when the right and wrong time is, seeing as how people are quick to judge. If you do not like the stereotypes, complain no more. Set forth for yourself how you want to be perceived in the public eye.

[Jasmine Doxey is a PUSD High School senior and intern at The Journal.  You may contact her via The Journal: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .]

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