Amy Tan Essay

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Najalita Monroe Professor Stromberg English 102 13 September 2013 Struggles Often most African American adolescents are stereotyped because of the way they speak. After reading “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, I realized that many people are judged not only by their looks, but also the way they communicate. I found that I could relate to the article because as an African American adolescent I am often judged by the way I speak. My environment had a big impact on my launguage. Although English is not my second language, I feel that “proper” English is. From Amy Tan’s essay and my own life experience, I believe that too many people in America are treated unfairly because they do not speak “proper” English. I remember growing up with my aunt and having trouble with my English because the school system was so poor. I had to be taken out of my normal classes in third grade and put in a class for kids who had trouble with their English. On career day my teacher asked me what I wanted to be, and I told her I wanted to be a lawyer. She made a suggestion that I should forget that and stick with something I knew how to do because I could not read or write very well like the rest of my class. I struggled a lot growing up, but I knew I was not going to give up on my dream, even if I knew no one believed in me. Ebonics is the African American vernacular of English. Most people consider it as “improper” or “broken” English. The stereotypes for African Americans adolescents are that they get arrested, commit crimes, get pregnant young, and drop out of school. Most people doubt they will succeed in life. Most of these assumptions are because of the way they speak. People assume they are uneducated, so they think they can trick them out of things, similar to the way they treated Amy Tan’s mother. Just because someone can not speak English well, does not mean they are less

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