Tongue-twister

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  • #10963

    Gemma F.
    Member

    Why do black people, particularly in London (African and Carribean), suck their teeth with their tongue or pucker up their lips?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Gemma F., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : New Age/Metaphysical, Age : 31, City : London, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #46057

    Corwin J.
    Member

    You shouldn’t study ‘black people’ in the sense of watching or staring to see how they behave. Accept that I am a person no different than yourself. I could take a sample of people you consider white and exaggerate that white people are watching me.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Corwin J., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Muslim, Age : 26, City : Baton Rouge, State : LA Country : United States, Occupation : information services, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #35195

    But that’s precisely what Y? Forum is about: asking those questions about people’s differences that a repressive society usually makes us too embarrassed to ask. ‘Staring’ is just a form of mankind’s natural curiosity. This site takes the stand that curiosity and asking questions are OK. Please don’t make us embarrassed to ask the questions here, too, because, as can be seen, there are many people who want to ask, and just as many who want to answer. It’s said that the truth shall set you free, and I’m sure you don’t want to block the free flow of information.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Joel Sammallahti, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 18, City : Helsinki, State : NA Country : Norway, Social class : Middle class, 
    #46408

    Nelson-A20189
    Participant

    It’s an expression of course. I know that your intention was to ask what it meant, not why they do it. I observed it in Port of Spain, Trinidad. I also wondered what it meant until I soon perceived that it was an expression of angst, impotence or resignation in a specific situation. It was usually followed by a low voiced, grit teethed ‘shit mon’. Kind of like the expression you would make when you beg that cop not to give you a traffic ticket and he just says ‘sorry sir’ and slams you with it.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Nelson-A20189, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 32, City : Caracas, State : NA Country : Venezuela, Occupation : Lawyer/Business, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #17509

    Jennifer
    Member

    I’m trying to figure out what you mean. It’s not that I’ve never seen a black person purse their lips or heard a black person suck their teeth, it’s just that I’m not sure of the context. Are these people just sitting somewhere, when all of a sudden, their lips smoosh together? My dad, for example, sometimes cleans his teeth after having swallowed a mouthful of food by sucking on them, but I think I’ve heard white people do that, too.

    Hmmm. Well, I’ve seen lots of black people suck on their teeth and make a sillibant sound when expressing disappointment or disbelief, before saying something like, ‘Whatever’ or ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ Is that what you’re talking about? If so, I think it’s just a non-verbal expression of their opinion on whatever they’re reacting to, a punctuation, so to speak.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jennifer, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 31, City : St. Paul, State : MN Country : United States, Occupation : Non-Profit, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #28772

    I think that the question that was proposed was not answered, yet Corwin was a little offended. Perhaps the reason is that it may be a fad?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Victoria B., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Puerto Rican/Spaniard, Age : 24, City : Lindsay, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #39649

    Monish
    Participant

    I think it’s disgraceful to question such practices by any race/religion/ethnicity. It’s not the question I’m worried about. In a larger sense you are implying that there is something wrong with black people puckering their lips. Accept it, and respect it. That’s the only way to move forward from the mess of racial bias that exists in England at the moment.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Monish, Gender : M, City : Mumbai, State : NA Country : India, 
    #19346

    Nathan20114
    Participant

    The original poster is in England. The ‘black’ people she’s refering to have nothing to do with people in the US who could be called ‘black’. My point is that ‘African-Americans’ shouldn’t go off the deep end objecting to this question because only ‘blacks’ in england are really qualified to resopnd. A few months back, a poster from Austrlia asked about the black penis size myth. In that context, you should understand that people who are called ‘black’ in Australia are refered to as Aboriginal elsewhere. A far cry from ‘African-American’. I think that it would be an eye opener for ‘African-Americans’ to learn that they are FAR from the only ‘black’ people on the planet.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Nathan20114, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Age : 32, City : Seattle, State : WA Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, 
    #28888

    alex
    Member

    I know many ethnicities of people who do that. why do you ask silly questions like that?

    User Detail :  

    Name : alex, Gender : F, Race : *poweRpuFF greeN*, Age : 19, City : houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : *maDsCienTist*, 
    #19308

    Geoff21644
    Participant

    In the Mandinka laguage, this gesture is called ‘bisaro,’ while other West African languages would have other words for it. It is exhibited throughout much of West Africa and is likely millennia old. Its meaning is contempt or at least distaste. Its ethnic specificity is on par with so many of the world’s gestures, such as caucasians closing and squinting a single eye, the ‘wink,’ as a signal of aimiable accord, or Asian bowing behavior as an arrival/departure greeting. We use gestures for the same reasons that we use words, to communicate.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Geoff21644, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Mysticism (non-organized religion), Age : 42, City : Minneapolis, State : MN Country : United States, Occupation : Information Consultant, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #37057

    LB
    Participant

    That wasn’t even close to an answer, Corwin. Gemma’s question is valid, since I find African Americans in the Midwest do it often. I’ve read that it’s a survival from West Africa, a way of showing annoyance or disdain without doing it directly (perhaps a carry-over from when blacks in America weren’t allowed to express themselves freely).

    User Detail :  

    Name : LB, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 30+, City : Minneapolis, State : MN Country : United States, 
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