We have to stop saying I speak”proper English” as a deflect when someone says you talk White

Yes, someone telling you, that you sound white is definitely a micro-aggression. I understand, it’s annoying when you can’t just exist as a Black person. Even the way you talk is regulated. But your answer has a deeply layered micro-aggression level layered into it as well. And it’s intertwined with the idea that AAVE is slang, and it isn’t.

It’s a dialect.

We need to normalize this fact.

Why is it a dialect and not slang?

Because it has grammatical rules, vocabulary, and accent just like American English. Look it up or ask a linguist. Now there is a lot of negativity attached to it, but let’s be honest. What around Black American’s doesn’t have a negative stigma attached to it.

There’s also the main issue. Which is seeing American English as “proper English” . If standard American English is “proper English” then AAVE is Wrong English?

That’s the antonym of proper. If something is proper then the other thing you’re contrasting it with isn’t. It’s not what you mean perse, but those are the words you’re using. The negative connotation is there even if you don’t think about it. You’re literally saying that you speak correctly. Which means someone else isn’t. It’s us, who speak AAVE.

Just say “standard American English” and be done.

The microaggressions are tough and it’s annoying when someone has the gall to say this to you.Don’t worry though I gotchu. When people say this to you, here’s two easy stock reply’s.

Explain that dialect is not a qualifier for being Black. And that you are Black regardless of how you sound. (DONE)


Ask them what they mean. What does Black sound like? And why would Black people as a whole all sound the same? (Let them explain themselves vs you justifying why you sound like you do.)

Why this?

I’m making stock answers, so you don’t have to put in the effort. Because we spend way too much time trying to justify and defend who we are as people. Defending our dialect, our interest, or anything we do that is not considered in the “normative of what people think Blackness is”. We need short answers so that you’re not like me, who spent way too much time explaining herself. We don’t owe anyone an explanation of how we sound, what we like, or what we wear.

I’m about to make a post about stock answers to Micro-aggressive people. Give me a couple of weeks.

But think about it, though many Black people may speak in AAVE, there is no proper way to speak English. Only a standard, and even that’s different depending on where you are in the world. Many dialects aren’t taught in school, but that doesn’t make them any less valid.

Speaking in AAVE is valid.

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