Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Oh, I'm sorry Ma'am. I thought you were black."

Stuart Hall discusses how differences are crucial in formulating our meanings of cultures and races and that without it, meaning could not exist. “It is the ‘difference’ between white and black which signifies, which carries meaning” (234). He then mentions the example of how “Britishness” connotes “whiteness” (235).

Check out this video of Gina Yashere, who is a black British comedian. In this clip, she does a great job in emphasizing, while simultaneously putting a funny spin on this topic that Hall discusses.

It is so effective and funny because most of us associate the British accent with someone who is posh, classy, well-off, intelligent, and white. Most of her stand up is on the subject of her being black and British and making fun of how people, especially Americans, are so thrown off by this because black people are usually portrayed as speaking in Ebonics or in a southern drawl or in "American" accents in our media. Rarely do we ever see a black person speaking in a British accent, but people, they DO exist.

1 comment:

  1. This is actually kind of fascinating--the comedian is black, female, and English. However, there's no clear way of determining which (if any) of those schemas take priority.