What’s good y’all!
You can’t say that. Say, Hello everyone!
Everyone? Can’t I just say homies, or what about bros?
It would not be proper to address people like that in this situation.
There’s certain principles, social cues, norms that are in place depending on who and where you are.
I don’t want to switch between various identities for another person, but okay. What kind of attitude should I have in this circumstance?
Since this piece will be seen by a wide audience, you should start out professionally, convey your idea, and do it in the third person. In this approach, bias will be avoided.
Fine so something like…
When an individual adjusts the way that they speak, dress, behave, or express themselves for the benefit of another, it’s called code-switching. Oftentimes code-switching can be found in the workplace, or in the classroom. For Black individuals, sometimes code-switching can be detrimental to their physical, mental, and emotional health. The act of code-switching forces one to change who they are to please another person or to make someone else more comfortable rather than living in their own comfortability.
You got it! Do you believe individuals code-switch more among family, friends, or with people they work with? How can you support this?
Well, if you need to know…
We asked several Black students what their experiences with code-switching have been. Their responses were quite horrifying.
Oh my goodness, enlighten me.
Scotland ‘26 said, “[it’s] a tool that a lot of us have to use in a space where you don’t exactly feel safe” he went on to say that code-switching can often feel like a “juggling act, you do it so much while trying to be who you are that you eventually can’t even identify yourself.” The pressure of it all becomes a lot to carry. “Some people forget to switch back to their original selfs, they forget to decode and recode themselves into something new.” – Deon ‘25
Being Black and applying for jobs, better yet interviewing for a job, is already taxing. Adding on the expectation to code-switch can be exhausting. Kaneesha ‘26 said that “sometimes when it comes to job interviews you can be afraid that your language or AAVE (African American Vernacular English) is something that will cost you your job. White people or anyone who is higher up might look at you differently even if they are black.” Talford ‘23 added that “some people view our personality and how we act as unprofessional. Sometimes when you forget to code switch it’s like ‘oop! Forgot where I was!’”
There appears to be too many dialects. Very confusing.
No, it’s because individuals do it so frequently that it becomes an unconscious action. People sometimes desire to fit in!
What’s even scarier is that some Black people have found the need to code-switch within their own communities. “If you’re in a setting where you are uncomfortable being yourself and you still act like yourself you could be seen as ‘too ghetto.’ Other black people say that I act too white so I feel like I have to talk like them or shut up” said Amaya ‘26.
Woah, watch it. There’s a time and place for everything!
Exactly! Society has made so many rules about how people should speak, act, think, and behave that people, especially Black people now have to watch everything they say because if they don’t they will be labeled as “ghetto, moody, aggressive, and unprofessional.”
Well, who cares what is “vocally” correct?
I..I thought you did.