Loud conversation and African Americans

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  • #2831

    James-D
    Participant

    I know that this could seem like a generalization, but after 40 years of repeated observation, I still wonder: do African Americans have a different hearing mechanism than others? From my perspective, their speech is noticeably louder, more often, more of the time, than other racial/ethnic groups. I have postulated that perhaps this has something to do with hearing thresholds.

    User Detail :  

    Name : James-D, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 46, City : Raleigh, State : NC Country : United States, Occupation : Professional, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #15859

    I’ve noticed that in general, we African Americans tend to converse more loudly than others at times. I don’t know that this has anything to do with different hearing levels, but I do think that other cultures value ‘social reserve’ more than we do. Exuberance, animation and expressiveness are common among us. I don’t mind the generalization. Generalization, after all, implies that not everyone fits the description.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jennifer R., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Humanist, Age : 29, City : Saint Paul, State : MN Country : United States, Occupation : Writer/Student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #14499

    Teresa24689
    Participant

    I used to think that, too, until I lived in Italy. They are a very loud people, too. Africans actually tend to be very quiet, but Southern whites are loud. I think it’s a regional thing.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Teresa24689, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Humanist, Age : 34, City : Baltimore, State : MD Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #41260

    Mandi
    Member

    Perhaps the other respondent does not mind generalizations, but I do. Particularly in this case, because the generalization is so obviously the result of a poorly applied heuristic (the same reason people are more afraid of airplanes than cars, even though airplanes are statistically much safer). The reason African Americans appear louder to you and others with similar beliefs is that you look for it. Whenever you see it, you apply it to your preconceived notion. In reality, you have probably been in the presence of just as many loud European-Americans or Hispanics, you just didn’t pay attention to it in the same way.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Mandi, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 21, City : Boston, State : MA Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19482

    Lisa22761
    Participant

    You are absolutely correct. I just learned of this sterotype recently and literally laughed out loud when I heard it. People of any race can be loud.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lisa22761, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, City : Gaithersburg, State : MD Country : United States, 
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