As you might expect of me, I'm lily white, and I have frequent Caucasian moments while working with the clientele and interacting with the neighbors. The other day, two of my students were using the term "boo." Boo, for those of you more isolated and boring than I am is a word many African Americans use in the same way one might use the term "honey" or "sweetie." It's often used for your lover, but it's acceptable to call other dear ones "boo" as well. Their discussion brought to mind at incident at the ghetto grocery store where some chunky sized brother with a little swagger walked up in line behind an attractive sister and said "What's, boo? To which she admirably replied, "Don't call me that." He said, "Alright" and chuckled, but she was unrelenting, "no really." Boo politics.
I most understood Ebonics when I was younger, had more diversity in my life, and listened to more hip-hop . Now, I'm a decade shy of Archie Bunker casting, and I don't understand much of anything contemporary or fresh. In part, Ebonics is meant to give black people a way of maintaining linguistic distinction from their pale brethren. Taken to an extreme, it's a way to avoid being understood by the wrong people. Some Jamaican Rastafarians told me once that their patois was a way of being able to communicate "in a crisis." You know, think white overseers on warm islands with large, formerly enslaved African populations. This probably isn't the whole explanation, but there's no doubt that pinning down the exact meanings of certain words and phrases is difficult, in no small part because of the multiple meanings that words, particularly those words, convey. Look up the word "Chickenhead" on Urban Dictionary.com if you think origins and meanings are clear. There isn't a well-designed, accessible website for understanding Ebonics for obvious reasons, and I think I'm going to stop writing before I get tempted to try my hand at the dialect-maybe after I've had a few, but no minstrel.
Which brings me to the next bug in my craw. I'm tiring of this blog, At the very least, I'm tiring of the subject matter. I'm not going to stop. I enjoy having a small following, and I want to make at least some G.D. money off of this, but new themes or topics might be embraced in future blogs. I would like to write about my constant, miserable battle with OCD and depression and political opinions that I might not express in polite society or around people who I otherwise agree with. That all may or may not make sense later.
Ray Ray Montoya