African American Communication Patterns

Decent Essays

African American Communication Patterns
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1999), African Americans comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population.
Animation/emotion: Communication seen as authentic is generally passionate and animated. Communication that is presented in a neutral or objective way is seen as less credible, and the motives of the speaker may be questioned. The assumption is that if you believe something, you will advocate for it. Truth is established through argument and debate. "Conversational style is provocative and challenging, and the intensity is focused on the validity of the ideas being discussed" (Kochman 1981 pp. 30-31).
Effective teachers of African American students are often found "….displaying emotion to garner student respect" (Delpit, 1995, p. 142). African Americans tend to perceive greater emotional intensity when rating the expressions of others (Matsumoto, 1993).
Directness/indirectness: Generally directly facing and talking with the person with whom you have an issue or problem is preferred. Someone who won’t face you directly shows his or her claim or problem to be invalid; the assumption is that anyone with a legitimate problem would come to the other person directly. A lack of response to a general accusation or allegation by someone is viewed as an indication of innocence.
The internal attitude of an innocent person is "I know they aren’t talking about me, so I don’t have to respond."(Kochman 1981 p.90).

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