Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ebonics,African-Americans, S. Korea and new blogs

Please Vote Today

There is an ongoing debate about whether African-Americans can/should speak standard English. Personally, I say that yes we should know how to speak standard English but when we are speaking amongst ourselves, I have no problem with African-Americans using Ebonics to communicate. I view it no differently than when I am at the mall and the Korean shop keeper converses with me in English, and turns to her brother and speaks to him in Korean.

Speaking of Korean, until I started digging for blogs of blacks living abroad, I had no idea that so many African-Americans/blacks taught in Asia. I recently found the blog of a sister living in Indonesia, I will add it later. I can only imagine the number of blacks in S. Korea who are teaching there, but don't blog. Below are two videos of sisters living in South Korea.

This is Leslie Benfied, an African-American who works for the Korean government as a translator. Benfield speaks Korean is flawlessly(tone and pronunciation).

The second younglady is from Cameroon don't have anymore info. S. Korean bloggers if you have any info on the two could you please pass it along.

Good Blogs

hairsmy story I am aware of the fact that all of my hair links have been for those who have natural hair but this site is those who desire healthy relaxed hair.


LeAnne@Hairs My Story Team said...

BTW: It's Hairs My Story

AW! Thank you for the linking. I had to make a site for the relaxed ladies, because there's nothing out there for us anymore. Everything is geared towards the growing natural market.

Anonymous said...

Hello this is Felicia from This Time in Seoul.
Thank you again for having me on your website!
I'm actually a Photographer in Seoul and I teach English as well. I'm not an English teacher. I'm an artist living in this great city called Seoul, and yes, there are a lot more African-Americans teaching English here in Seoul. I will be vacationing in Thailand, Singapore and Bali and hope that I come across some African Americans in these countries. I may move there myself for reasons related to photography, travel writing, etc.

Korea is so incredible. I meet the best people every single day. Some of my colleagues waste time complaining and are always amazed how my experiences are better, greater than theirs. What's the secret? Korean people know that I respect them as people, respect their culture and am generally interested in them, in turn they are so kind and generous to me. I may stay here longer than I'd expected. I am writing about my experience here for several newspapers. Will keep you posted.

Thanks again!

Felicia, Photographer

DMB said...

Yeah, it warms the cockles of my heart to know that there are Black people representing in Asia. It is a beautiful thing to go to another country and meet so many great people--some of whom you know will be in your life forever, no matter what continent you find yourself on.

My best friend here in Japan and I call ourselves sisters. Why? Because Love truly has no color or culture. Our bond is a testament to that.

The saddest thing about leaving here will be the people who have genuinely opened their hearts to me--not because I was a cultural curiosity with whom they wanted to practice their English--but because we saw each others' hearts.

There will be many tears when I leave.

Golden Silence said...

It is such a lovely sight to see Blacks going abroad and learning about other cultures. There are too many Blacks that are stuck in their narrowminded ways that have me shaking my head, but the ones willing to go outside the box deserve kudos.

France, Italy and so forth were places I wanted to check out, but I would love to go to Asia one day myself. Taiwan was featured on a Travel Channel show called "Bizarre Foods," though some of the foods considered bizarre ("stinky tofu" for instance) didn't look that bizarre to me! I'd try it! Taiwan looked like a lovely place that combined ancient traditions, nature and the modern world. The cost of living is much cheaper there as well.

I would really love to spend time abroad to learn about different cultures and have different experiences, I just need the money to do so!

C. Holden Blackman said...

The escalation in black folks speaking, increasingly unintelligible, broken English is a particular sore spot for me. Clearly, it is tied to the rise of hip hop as the default African American youth culture. As the hot spot for the production of this cultural product has moved from New York to L.A. to the deep south, the associated vernacular has gone from bad to worse to down right appalling.

As to black folks in Asia, I've never been to Korea but I have been to Japan. I didn't encounter any overt racism there. But, I did find myself on the receiving end of some ignorant comments (and I'm giving those people the benefit of a doubt that there was some cultural incongruity afoot that mad them believe that it was alright to touch me whilst commenting on my size) and far too much attention. Unless I'm sent there for work, I'll probably never make a return trip. From here on out, I'll be blowing my international travel budget, meager as it is with a kid in college, in Europe and Africa... especially in France.

I've known quite a few black people who've worked in Asia. They've always given my the impression that black women are more well-received there than black men. I don't know if that is true, but I do know that if you are a black man who is just shy of 6' 7" and you go to Japan, you will be scrutinized much as I would imagine that Godzilla would be.


Thanks for the link to Hairs My Story. How you dey?

Beyond said...

i think african american should be allowed to speak english atformal occasions and should also not be stopped from speaking ebonics when ever they want to. atleast other nationalities speaks their languages as well.

C. Holden Blackman said...

Ebonics is NOT our language. It is largely an affectation, and a recent one at that. Young black folks, whose grandparents spoke reasonably good English, are running around speaking unintelligible gibberish that almost amounts to a patois. It is as deliberate and made-up as Obama's southern preacher shtick.

LENNY FORTE' said...

i, back outchic.blogspot.com

Natarsha said...

Hi this is Natarsha from Seoul to Soul. I am an English teacher. Before I came here I did not think that there were going to many people of color here, but to my surprise there are many African-American's here in Asia. It is good because you have someone to identify with and at the same time you get to meet many great people from other nationalities. I am enjoying myself here in South Korea and there are so many other opportunities to explore here besides teaching English.

Thanks for the link on your blog!

Have a great week!

BeautyinBaltimore said...

@ Natarsha- you are very welcome. I enjoy your blog a lot.
@ holden blackman- I have to disagree, ebonics is a dialect of the English language. Please don't get it confused with slang because it is not the same thing. I don't understand why some of us are so touchy about Ebonics.
@Beyond- You captured the point perfectly.
@Solomon- I be fone oh. Awka Inka?
@Golden- I feal the same way, thats why I post of the links that I can find on the side.
@leane- Sorry about that, I will fix it.
@felcia-Sorry about that, I fixed it and you are very welcome. I've noticed that many Korean bloggers have issues adjusting, many relax eventually while others do not.

C. Holden Blackman said...

@ holden blackman- I have to disagree, ebonics is a dialect of the English. Please don't get it confused with slang

We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't believe it to be a dialect because its use isn't ubiquitous to any group. Additionally, since the word ebonics is used interchangeably with the phrase African American vernacular English, I'd have to say that it includes hip-hop slang. The reason that this is a touchy subject for me is that I am, like most African Americans,at least a 10th generation American. There is no reason that African Americans shouldn't be able to communicate in standard English by now. Not only does that not seem to be the case, but it seems like it's actually getting worse. I see young black kids going to job interviews whose grasp of the English language is an order of magnitude worse than their grand parents'.

BeautyinBaltimore said...

"Additionally, since the word ebonics is used interchangeably with the phrase African American vernacular English, I'd have to say that it includes hip-hop slang"

Slang and African-American English are two different things.

I think all African-Americans should know how to speak standard English(esp. in the workplace) but when amongst ourselves we should, if we desire, used Ebonics.

As someone who is half African, I must tell you that many Nigerians speak a pigeon type of English in addition to standard English.

One can learn to speak more than one dialect of English.I can tell you that with 300 million people in this country, the likelyhood(sp) of all of us speaking standard English with the same accent is pretty small.

Ifeomaadiagwuagwu said...

Guurl..... i like your blog. You are keeping it real.

More to u!

Anonymous said...

i found some more blogs. one by a man and one by a woman. i am very interested in this subject being that my best friend is korean and we are planning to go sometime in the future.

afro jamaicano said...

that's hella cool.
and i get tripped out at a coloured kid from france haha!

lerning other languages is fun and shih, im tryna lern french right now... lawd hold me mule haha!