Soooo my sister and I are once again on the opposite sides of the fence. I am Black. I am a Black American. I am a Black American in Taiwan. My sister feels like if I say or do something that I should not attach "well this is something done in mainly black/African American culture." Now to be clear I am not doing this around my students but with a coworker that I speak to and have really good conversation with. Also I am not saying black this black that but try to give the dual side of "America" and the Other. Usually its not a point I make to bring up either. For example, we were talking about fun things and activities high schools do. I mention stepping and show her some clips. She says, "Everyone does this?" and I let her know it is more prevalent in HB fraternities and sororities. We have talked about the n-word and interracial marriage too. Some of the slang I use during break time that comes out naturally is not commonly used in mainstream America too. My sister just doesn't want me to show her these things or talk about these things. I hate HATE when I have to be the role model black to give blacks a good name. It makes me sooooooo uncomfortable. Not only that, the Taiwanese people seem not to really have a lot of preconceived notions about AA in their minds. I want good thoughts to be there about AA but I don't want to be trapped feeling like I must use 100% correct grammar all the time (when the students are not around) or make sure I turn off my rap music if someone walks into my classroom during my planning period. What do you guys think because I sure as hell don't know what to think. I am only comfortable around her and the school soldier to let my guard down and just... be. However just like in America if I am around an administrator, I am just as prim and proper as can be (but don't we all do that???).
Originally Posted by gagirl09
AdT is so right ... please just be true to who you are. You'll respect yourself more in the long run IMO. You shouldn't have to bear the weight of being a spokesperson for any particular group. Also, there's nothing wrong with you describing general black American culture to non-Americans. Anyone who is sensible will already know that everyone in whatever culture is an individual first, and that there's no such thing as everyone in a group acting and thinking alike. You get to answer their questions honestly, in your own way, despite what your sis or anyone else has to say about it ... or that would be my attitude, anyway

How amazing that you've stepped out of your own "back yard" to learn about people who are different than those you grew up with (Americans); even speak another/other languages! So many people are so scared of those who are unfamiliar to them. Many folks will never leave their own hometowns. It's sad. I think it's cool how you don't allow someone else's expectations to get in the way of you speaking how you want, enjoying the music you want to enjoy, and exploring foreign territories. Now that is badazz

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