Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ebonics Made Simple

The Staple Singers and Don Cornelius on Soul Train
White boys often speak Ebonics to sound tough, especially white boys who don’t feel very tough and in a kind of racist profiling participate in the notion that black men are more masculine and have bigger dicks. That being said there are oceans of language that provide an opportunity for this unique form of cultural miscegenation. Back in the sixties “what’s happenin’” was very popular amongst white boys who’d become lit up by the Motown Revue (which they may have been lucky enough to see at the Apollo in the glory days when Frankie Crocker emceed, Reuben Phillips provided the big band sound and Small’s Paradise and the Hotel Theresa were the hot Harlem nightspots for slumming whites) while today the children of 60’s hipsters listen to Jay-Z and ask “wassup.” Their lily white mothers might have packed a lunchbox full of treats that would energize them for the long climb up to Harvard, but when they left the split level for school, white teens would say “I’ll catch you later” or “later baby” (to their mother). Today, when a white boy who wants to recognize the achievements of his friends at the valedictory might give a "shout out," while in the past he might have referred to all his “main men.” “Dog” or “son” are tantamount to the old “dude” or “brother” which has now become totally whitebread. “Boss" was good, where today when you refer to an article of clothes or CD as “bad,” it means it’s good. In the past, “Slap me five,” or “give me some skin” were the way whites conversant in Ebonics shook hands and those expressions still hold up today. Ebonics Made Simple would sell like hot cakes in certain upper middle class suburbs and would probably even do better than The Official Preppy Handbook.

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