Allison Joseph’s poem “On Being Told I Don’t Speak Like a Black Person” is a powerful and insightful piece that speaks to the experiences of many black Americans. The poem highlights the ways in which black people are often judged and misunderstood based on their dialect and vernacular.
Joseph expertly uses language to convey the frustration and anger that many black people feel when they are told that they don’t speak “proper” English. The poem is a beautiful example of how poetry can be used as a tool for social commentary and change.
Those who read this poem will gain a better understanding of the unique challenges that black Americans face in terms of language and identity. This poem is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in their own community.
In “On Being Told I Don’t Speak Like a Black Person,” the author argues that everyone should be free to speak however they want, regardless of race or background. The importance of this is personal identity–we all have our own unique ways of speaking that are intimately tied to who we are as individuals. This point is driven home in lines 52-70, where the author says that we shouldn’t judge others based on how they speak.
Allison Joseph also speaks about how we should not be judged by our appearance or the way we talk.
The title “On Being Told I Don’t Speak Like a Black Person” is very effective in delivering the message that Allison wants to share. The title suggests that Allison has been told she doesn’t speak like a black person, which would lead many people to believe that she is not black.
Allison could have easily chosen a different title, but the one she chose works perfectly. Overall, Allison Joseph’s poem is a great example of how important it is to stay true to yourself and how you should not let anyone else dictate how you speak.
She knows this is true from her own life since her mother, father, and she all speak differently. When she asked one of her friends if their family has the same problem, they replied cautiously,”Don’t take this the wrong way–it’s nothing personal.”
Allison Joseph was born in London, England to Jamaican parents. She grew up in the Bronx and attended Fordham University. Allison now lives in Carbondale, Illinois where she is a professor at Southern Illinois University and the Poetry Editor for Crab Orchard Review.
“On Being Told I Don’t Speak Like a Black Person” by Allison Joseph is a poem about how the speaker realizes that not everyone in her family speaks alike. The speaker’s mother, father, and her all speak differently and she asks one of her friends “does everyone in your family speak alike” they responded “don’t take this the wrong way, nothing personal”. Allison Joseph was born in London, England to Jamaican parents.
She grew up in the Bronx and attended Fordham University. Allison now lives in Carbondale, Illinois where she is a professor at Southern Illinois University and the Poetry Editor for Crab Orchard Review. In this poem, the speaker is reflecting on how her family speaks differently from each other and how her friend made her realize that not everyone speaks like this. The speaker is proud of her family’s diversity and how they are all unique in their own way.
Allison, a black woman questions why black people are perceived to drop syllables and sound lazy when speaking English, rather than sounding like they’re speaking clear, clean English. She brings this up because her college acquaintances noticed how she spoke more similarly to “white” people than other black Americans.
The speaker also mentions that her acquaintances seemed sure they knew what a black person is supposed to sound like; which the speaker is talking about how her acquaintances have a preconceived notion and stereotype on how black people should sound.
The speaker then goes on to say people should not be put in a box, and that people are more than just their skin color. The speaker is saying how we should not judge people by how they look on the outside, but by what’s on the inside. The speaker is also saying how we are all human beings, and that we should all be treated equally.
I agree with Allison Joseph, because people should not be judged by their skin color or by how they speak. People should be judged by their character and who they are on the inside. We are all human beings, and we should all be treated equally.
There are many cultural assumptions behind this belief. One is that black people are not as educated as white people, which I believe to be untrue. Another is that they may expect her to speak in Ebonics or improper English. The fact of the matter is that you should not be ashamed of where you come from and the way you speak; those are part of your identity. People will eventually see who you really are and respect your heritage.
This poem is about a girl who is told by someone that she doesn’t speak like a black person. The speaker in the poem is hurt by this comment and tries to figure out what it means. There are a few possible interpretations of this comment. Maybe the person who said it meant that she speaks proper English, or maybe they meant that she is intelligent. Either way, the speaker in the poem is proud of her heritage and the way she speaks. She knows that people will eventually see her for who she really is.