Intercultural Communication In Ernestine Johnson's The Average Black Girl

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Communication is the key to understanding and navigating the world in which we live. It is a fundamental tool used to convey specific meaning, ideas and identity mostly to those of correlating social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Communicating beyond these boundaries may become difficult due to contextual barriers, thus developing unconscious biases and prejudices against those who live outside of society’s norms. The two communicative texts chosen for this paper are examples of people who vocalise the social and racial stereotypes associated with their group in hopes to enlighten new perspectives on issues. The messages conveyed by Ernestine Johnson and Yassmin Abdel-Magied articulate the importance to practice intercultural communication in order to understand the context of messages and how they are interpreted to convey meaning to different cultural and social backgrounds.

It is very often that people draw their own conclusions to things they do not fully understand in order to filter what …show more content…

Qualities of ‘Whiteness’ are deemed as ‘right’ and ‘ideal’ and it is what measures a person’s potential and capabilities. Johnson addresses that she is not seen as an average black girl because she ‘talks white’ and is superior to the girls of her race who are “ popping their gums and shaking their necks. Because those girls get like no respect.”(Johnson, E. 2014, 1:58) She informs that society does not deem her as the average black girl because of her lighter pigmented skin, but because she is well mannered, speaks with class and is educated. It is seen here that whiteness is not just about “bodies and skin colour”, it is, in fact, a superior characteristic that has elevated her ‘blackness’ by adopting white practices (Moreton-Robinson, A.

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