Awkwafina ‘open to the conversation’ about her history of AAVE use on-screen

The Asian-American rapper and movie star has been labeled a hypocrite for swearing not to play "minstrel" roles with stereotypical Asian accents, despite having used AAVE on screen throughout her career
"I refuse to emphasize."
Rapper and actress Awkwafina stated this during a 2017 interview with Vice when asked if there were any movie roles she would turn down as an Asian-American woman in Hollywood.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Awkwafina attends on the 30th. (Photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images for Disney)
"I'm making it very clear, I never go to auditions that feel like I'm turning our people into minstrels," she added.
The following year, 2018, Awkwafina enjoyed what was perhaps the greatest year of her career starring in Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8 - while, according to many critics, she also appropriated Afro-American Vernacular English or AAVE for her characters in both films.
When Awkwafina was asked bluntly about her mixed messaging regarding the stereotypical accent, it seemed like Awkwafina had trouble getting one during an interview with CinemaBlend in September about her latest film, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." formulate complete answer.
"Um, you know, I'm open to the conversation," said the 33-year-old. "I think, you know, it's really something that is a little bit multi-faceted and multi-layered, and so yeah."
The appropriation of AAVE by non-Blacks appears to have increased in recent years, as the language made its mainstream mainstream primarily through digital platforms and is often mistakenly referred to simply as "internet slang" or "stan culture".
TheGrio's Danielle Young cleared up any confusion about the language and who is allowed to use it during an August 2020 episode of her show "Opinionated AF".
Young explained that the use of AAVE by non-Blacks was a form of "cultural appropriation," defining the term as "those usually without recognition of cultural identities associated with or derived from minority communities. of people or communities with a relatively privileged status. "
She went on to explain a phenomenon called "linguistic prescriptivism" or the system of rules that dictate what a society sees as "right" and "wrong" language, often organized around existing racial hierarchies and other oppressive forms of social organization.
American institutions have historically viewed AAVE as a "false" abstraction from Standard American English (SAE), also known as "King's English", despite several examples in world history of officially recognized languages ​​that have emerged from other languages, such as: . B. Haitian or Cape Verdean forms of Creole.
“The age-old slang, 'white is right,' doesn't just apply to skin color,” said Young. "If racism is institutional and systemic, even the behavior of whites, the language of whites, is the standard."
She added that blacks always had to find creative ways to get around racist barriers.
“We had to create a lot of ourselves, including our own language, because our ancestors were forbidden to speak their mother tongue, but they weren't even officially taught to speak“ properly ”or the blessed American standard English. Said Jung.
She concluded by reading a quote from the late American writer and revolutionary Toni Morrison in an interview in 1981.
"It's what blacks love so much - saying words, holding them on your tongue, experimenting with them, playing with them," said Morrison. "It's a love, a passion."
“Its function is like that of a preacher: to get you up from your seat, to lose yourself, and to hear yourself,” she continued. "The worst of all possible things that could happen would be to lose that language."
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Awkwafina's “open to conversation” post about her on-screen history of AAVE use first appeared on TheGrio.
In this article:
American actress, comedian and rapper
Danielle Young
English soccer player

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