Our voices are powerful tools. We can speak loudly or softly, with urgency or calm. We can make requests or issue commands. Whenever and however we speak, we reveal the way we see the world. But, it’s not just the words we use that people interpret, it’s the way we sound.
Our accents, our cadence tells people something about where we’re from in terms of location and group memberships. But how we speak and the way we are heard says a lot about race and power. This time on Know What You See, Brian’s two guests have thought a lot about how language and accents affect society as well as their own personal lives: Kelly E. Wright, a sociolinguist specializing in linguistic discrimination and its institutional outcomes, plus comedian Bernice Ye, a comedian, writer, and dancer originally from China who tells of her experiences as an immigrant in her standup.
For more about Brian and his work, visit knowwhatyousee.com.