Friday, August 12, 2011

How do you know when you're begining to fit in your minority neighborhood?

Yesterday, one of my 11 year old neighbors caught me off guard. He's American born, of African descent and raised in the city.

J: Where you from?
Me: Hershey, near Harrisburg.
J: [blank stare]
Me: Know the chocolate bar? I lived in the town where they're made.
J: [recognition] Oh. [pause] What language do you speak?
Me: [blank stare] huh?
J: What do you speak?
Me: As in language?
J: Yeah.
Me: [Suppressing Smile] English.
J: Do you speak Latin?
Me: [Pause. Blank Stare. More Pause.] No.
J: [Confused look] Oh, cause you talk funny when you're mad. Like this [uses nasely impersonation]
Me: [surprise at his reference to my anger, and recognition of his line of questioning] Oh, I have an accent. Right. Didn't know that.

The white man accent, nasal included. And so transition happily continues…

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