Whether you grew up in a white suburb or a Black neighborhood, code-switching for us has been the name of the game for decades now.
But why do we do it?
Putting on a white voice is how so many of us have gotten by and survived America. It’s also how we have gained access to opportunities that white supremacy has blocked us from.
See, there’s this thing called voice bias or linguistic profiling, which can be a form of discrimination we’ve all likely encountered at some point. If we use what’s known as AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) or deviate in any way from the normalized English language, we often are passed up for employment, school admission, and a slew of other openings.
So basically, the only way to “make it” in America is to be white - or at least sound like it.
But it’s not all bad. There are those sisters and brothers who, because they code-switch, are now changing the system from the inside out, providing access to Black people like never before.
On the other hand, there are others moving towards being unapologetically Black, opting to create opportunities rather than submit to white supremacy!
Now tell us: do you code-switch?