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Thread: Blaccent and Awkwafina: Divide and Conquer

  1. #1

    Blaccent and Awkwafina: Divide and Conquer


    I was unavailable to address this when this matter first surfaced, and it was only recently brought to my attention.

    I saw "Crazy Rich Asians" and I enjoyed the movie very much. I did not view the character played by Awkwafina (Nora Lum) as someone with a Blaccent. I saw the character as someone with a Cantonese accent who was influenced by Hip Hop culture. Not all Cantonese people speak the in the way that Awkwafina's character portrayal may suggest; especially to those with limited exposure to cultural differences. I have heard Cantonese people speak English in such a way that would encourage one to think there is a horse and a ten gallon hat waiting for them outside (and that includes the women). Basketball player Jeremy Lin (OOPs: this brother is from Taiwan) is an example of that; yet, no one accused him of using a Blaccent or being a "cowboy wannabe". There will always be differences to the spoken language of English.

    There have been those in entertainment who have used perceived (stereotypical) mannerisms and vocalizations associated with African American peoples for their own economic betterment. Al Jolson quickly comes to mind. A sickening example of this was done by Walter Connolly in "The Good Earth". Here, he used such mannerisms and vocalizations to portray a Chinese person (!!!): so much for socio-cultural study to develop a character. Awkwafina does not fit into this category at all and there should be absolutely nothing for her to apologize for.

    I have encountered many people who naturally speak in the dialect associated with African American people. I find it nothing short of beautiful.

    By the way, this Blaccent thing is an internet creation. It is really sad to see people, of all hues, jump on the bandwagon with this without giving thought to the motivations behind such talk. There may be those who want to use Blaccent to wedge a social distinctiveness during a time when people are beginning to find each other again. A united people is something to fear. Well, it is going to happen anyway.



    PS for Gene: Awkwafina (Nora Lum)'s family used to own a Chinese restaurant in Flushing, Queens, on Northern Blvd. It was called Lum's. The restaurant operated for decades and was well known. The food was great. I remember you were into collecting menus. Maybe you can get one for yourself, it she has. It would have been great if they came out with a cookbook. By the way, her family was courteous and respectful to all people. Their restaurant is sorely missed.
    Last edited by mickey; 02-28-2024 at 04:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    That's the first I've heard of her 'blaccent'

    Awkwafina talks a lot like several Asian American women I know, only funnier.

    P.S. I don't collect hardcopies of menus but I am fascinated by them, especially vintage US Chinese restaurant menus.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Hi Gene,

    Lum's menu would definitely be vintage.


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