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Articulate Black People
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Post Articulate Black People 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/weekinreview/04clemetson.html?_r=1&ref=weekinreview&oref=slogin

A fascinating article on the racial politics of "speaking well."

Biden's recent comments on Obama are a nice example of this. White people often describe accomplished, intelligent African Americans as "articulate," as if it is a surprise or an anomaly. Whereas White people are assumed to have some innate power of speech, it is considered an impressive feat for a Black person to achieve the same level of competency in self-expression.

I wonder if the implied subtext here is that "articulate," when applied descriptively to an African American, really means, "s/he sounds white!"

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Post Black/White speech 
I've run into that kind of comment before, but I've also seen on glaring examples of the differences in speech patterns. One that comes to mind is:

I worked with an African American loan officer for many years. In our office he sounded like everyone else and I never gave it a second thought until I heard him on the phone to a client in North Minneapolis one afternoon. His normal, professional speech vanished into the dialect we've all heard peppered with slang, obscenities and deliberate grammatical errors. I stopped, stunned.

If I had spoken to a client like that, people would have laughed at me.

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