Friday, May 16, 2008


BILL COSBY WROTE AN ARTICLE AND APPEARED ON OPRAH several months ago, criticizing the youth of today for their skill of speaking - or lack of it.

Bill Cosby

'They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English.
I can't even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain't, Where you is,
What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work,
Who you be... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
And then I heard the father talk.


I'll put my little piece in here too.

I think he is right to criticize their speech, he's right to criticize the parents.

One thing I have noticesd these past seven years of working with teens, is that White kids, Mexican and Black kids seem to be slipping in knowing the propers of the English language. We as Black families, and all the others too, are the only ones who can fix it. It's never too late to start. If you know better, do better.

Most of us here have grands. How do we allow them to speak. Slang isn't allowed in our homes unless we are playing, and all of them know when to stop. For serious conversations, proper English is it. The written word is respected. It's up to us, as parents and grandparents, to teach them how to write to the best of our ability, and not to accept less than what they can do.

As families we are mighty. We have the power to redline a teachers approval on papers that do not meet the standard grade (I did), and sent it back to school with instructions to get it right. Needless to say, I was not a favorite parent to some. Will we damage their self-esteem, maybe for a minute - but in the long run they will know what's right and what is expected at home and in public. I am not as literate as some of my children, but all of them know respect; for themselves and others. By keeping quiet in our schools when children are not being taught is something we will all have to answer for. If we do not teach those around us; family, extended family, children in our churches, and those kids who just stop by to sit on the porch, I believe that is the ultimate form of failure and disrespect.

Families are the source of learning, we set boundaries on our kids for reasons of protection and furthering their education and life experiences. We grow them to appreciate all people and not look down, but to bring up in any way they can. If they don't learn it at home, where, when?

Okay, that's my lil' bit - peace out, holla atcha lata!! Jay


MarketMama said...

Language is what makes us human, and I agree that our schools are not doing a good job of teaching our kids to communicate clearly in common settings -- business, education, and just plain getting along in a culture with diverse groups that must share a wide variety of ideas, activities, and a lot of new technology in order to succeed in a united country. It's especially ironic when you consider how astonishingly well Martin Luther King, Barack Obama and even Bill Cosby himself used language to unite people and raise the use of language to wonderful heights.

Mama Jay's GoodNews...As I See It said...

Thank you. Language does, should unite us. when we travel over sea, that is one thing which makes us unique is our style of English - Everybody knows the Americans.