4.11.2012

It's Called the "Job Interview" Voice

It's that voice colored folk use when we don't want to intimidate white folks. I used to think just Black people used it.

Turns out, I was wrong.


27 comments:

  1. It reminds me of the first "Bad Boy" film when Martin told Will Smith that he was using too much bass in his voice and how white folks get "scared" lmao!

    In the first clip he's doing the exact same voice Martin did in "Bad Boys" as an example of how to sound when you talk to white folks!

    The second video he sounds straight Jersey. He actually sounds like he grew up in New York (Where I'm from)He also sounds more relaxed. Notice all the black folk in the background!

    This should make for an interesting discussion Ankh. I actually prefer his tone in the second clip. I like guys with a little street in 'em. lol

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    1. P.S.- This makes me think of the clips I see on youtube featuring Asian guys who are constantly being accused of talking 'Black', or 'Hood.' When I was a phone sex operator we all had to put on that 'voice'.

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    2. ...when you worked as a what????

      LOL - let me quit trippin'. For a while there, I was wondering how to get a job like. For years I've been told I have the perfect voice for a 900 number.

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    3. lol- I did it for two years. It was an interesting experience. There's a lot of racism in the sex industry no matter what the genre. We were all asked to describe ourselves as white women, which I never, ever did.. But that's story is for another topic! lmao!!

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    4. I like guys with a little street in 'em.

      Tell da truth. That little edge goes a long way.

      I straight want to interview you about your experiences as a PSO...except I don't know how to do that. I can learn, tho. I'm a leech-level sucker for anything in the sex business.

      Man, and I thought we were the only ones who code-switched. Status quo is alive and well. But I'm at the point in my grown-ass life where, unless I'm getting interviewed or presenting myself in a professional manner, I speak the same way around white folks like I do around my peeps. Fuck them motherfuckers. I ain't got shit to prove to nobody, and if I make you uncomfortable, move the hell on...

      *folds arms and mean-muggs* ...beetches!

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    5. Man, and I thought we were the only ones who code-switched.

      I know, right?????????

      But I'm at the point in my grown-ass life where, unless I'm getting interviewed or presenting myself in a professional manner, I speak the same way around white folks like I do around my peeps.

      *nods* And that's why it's called the "job interview" voice. Only place where it's really necessary.

      I ain't got shit to prove to nobody, and if I make you uncomfortable, move the hell on...

      You are sooooooo South.

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    6. "But that's story is for another topic!"

      @Nicole I want to hear your experience!!

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    7. It was interesting Hazel. All the WOC were told to describe ourselves as white women, because most of the men who call these numbers are white males. After awhile, we were all like, 'fuck that.' The only time you were supposed describe yourself as a woc is if a guy requested that. It was really interesting listening to white girls describe themselves as black women. The supervisor eventually started routing these calls to ACTUAL black women.

      I was constantly being told by white male callers that I didn't "Sound Black!". I was like, what? You want me to start talking 70's jive like in the movie "Airplane"? We had the option of working from home, or from the office. I chose to work in the office. I also learned that white men in particular are obsessed with black men's dicks. If I had a dollar for every white male caller who told me he fantasized about his wife being sexed by a black man, I'd be a rich woman.

      Its the same thing with porn. If you see some of the porn Ankh has posted here, the comment section on the videos are dominated by white males. Black porn? Please!!! Nothing but white men making comments about us and our body parts. More so than black men.

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  2. Awe yes, the useful code switching. At first I thought it was his normal voice from watching the first clip and wondering where is he code switching until I clicked on the second video, I was like "Oh!" LOL.

    Usually you can tell the difference when people of other races who grew up around black people and how comfortable they are compared to the ones who try to fake it with the "Hood" talk.

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    1. "At first I thought it was his normal voice from watching the first clip and wondering where is he code switching until I clicked on the second video, I was like "Oh!" LOL."

      Yes! I did the same thing. As I listened to the first clip, I was thinking "What's the issue?" and then I watched the second clip and my reaction was the same as yours! lol

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    2. "Usually you can tell the difference when people of other races who grew up around black people and how comfortable they are compared to the ones who try to fake it with the "Hood" talk."

      Definitely. In the second clip TJ seems quite comfortable in the presence of black people. These clips are interesting because you get an inside glimpse into how POC navigate through white spaces.POC (Black folk in particular) are always expected to bend/adjust who we are in order to make white people feel comfortable, even within OUR own spaces.

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  3. Oh do I know this well. I've actually had white folk who knew me when I went to white schools stop talking to me after I went to my black high school and got some bass in the voice. They said I talked "weird". CODE: TOO BLACK. LOL. I think every POC does this right? They have the "how to talk to white people" voice and the comfortable at home "Chilling with family and friends" voice. I used to speak in the first clip around white people but I've sort of stopped now. I don't see a reason why I have to change the way I speak for them to be more "comfortable". Maybe it's ingrained into us to automatically switch because some times, I automatically do it when around white folks. Anyway, I'm just as intelligent speaking at home the way I am any where else. Now, mind you, I know when to switch it off come job interviews and professional settings. I like him in the second clip. He seems at home and most real. Like Nicole said, a little hood in em' ain't bad at all. ;3 <3

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    1. I've dealt with similar experiences in the work place. I was talking to a co-worker who's black. We were discussing old school hip-hop and we started talking about Big Daddy Kane and other MC's. This white co-worker of ours was hovering near by (They always hover when they see s group of black folks talking, or breathing..) Later that day my white co-worker said, "You sound so different when you talk to him!" Again like Chanel said: CODE: TOO BLACK

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    2. OMG....WHAT IS WITH THE HOVERING???????

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    3. What's so funny is- white folks don't think we SEE them hovering. They're usually pretending to be reading a magazine/book, or looking for something. If they see two or more black people discussing anything, you best believe white folks will be hoverin'

      They love to listen in on what we discuss.

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    4. "Maybe it's ingrained into us to automatically switch because some times, I automatically do it when around white folks."

      I even find myself saying "Ma'am" aroung white people... which is horrible considering where the word comes from.

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    5. anonymous J

      @Nicole


      "What's so funny is- white folks don't think we SEE them hovering. They're usually pretending to be reading a magazine/book, or looking for something. If they see two or more black people discussing anything, you best believe white folks will be hoverin'

      They love to listen in on what we discuss."

      I am so glad you mentioned this, I have experienced this phenomena a lot.

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  4. So it's not just me.

    I actually watched both vids months ago and they both stuck out to me for a reason I couldn't put my finger on. Then it hit me yesterday.

    After listening to his poetry, I was wondering why he didn't sound like himself during interview. Then I saw the second vid and was like, "Oh....there's TJ."

    A commenter on Facebook asked if TJ would agree, and...I don't know. What I do know is that POC tend to "switch" subconsciously around white people. So TJ may or may not be aware of the differences here, not that it really matters.

    The point is, it's just something we tend to do.

    Also, pay attention to the body language in vid #1.

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    1. Notice the body language in vid # 1

      YES. He looks so uncomfortable. I don't even have to play the video. The screen shot he's in looks mad tight and stiff. @___@.

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  5. Second clip was so natural and comfortable. It was a major contrast from the first clip where the pitch was on the higher side. I thought the same thing about the code switching being mainly in the Black community. I always learn something new from visiting this blog.

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    1. I thought the same thing about the code switching being mainly in the Black community.

      Same here. When I went back and watched the two vids I almost died laughing. I was like, "Ohhhhhhh....he was using the job interview voice!!!"

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  6. LMAO! He even did what my friend and I like to call the "white people lisp" in the first video.

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    1. *dead*

      I wasn't going to say anything, but since you brought it up.....

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  7. What is the white lisp ? Lol I feel like a noob

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  8. Wow. In Anthropology class we were just talking about White Public Space where the minority feels the need to act certain way or adopt standard english while talking to whites so they don't intimidate while it's okay for white people to talk naturally or mock other languages or accents, for example throwing made up Spanish words into a conversation. Interesting.

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  9. Lol. When you watch the first video, look at his mouth. He has the Renee Zellweger thing going on with the pursed lips or like he has something really sour in his mouth. The only other thing that comes to mind is Dave Chappelle playing a white person. My friend's little cousin talks like that (a Somali girl living in the suburbs) and we're both tempted to knock her the hell out sometimes...SMH.

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  10. in the first video it almost sounds like he is mocking her, like he deliberately spoke the same way she did

    definitely sounded more relaxed in the 2nd video

    still cute

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