So first, I’m going to direct y’all to some Wikipedia with my, ain’t-nuh-ever-been-to-Jamaica, pale as can be possibly fathomed and not albino in the ass as I am-ass, to explain what Patwah is.
Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa or Patwah) and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora.
…and a creole language is basically a language that is a complete language and not a blending of two languages. Furthermore, a creole language is both African and English in its making.
Sometimes I use it in my slang or to say a specific thing. I listen to music that uses Patwah speech often and I’ve made a pretty decent effort to understand it as I hear it. If you are unfamiliar, try hearing it. You will be surprised that you cannot understand a lot of it. I could not express a grammatically correct thought without attempting to copy the words of others to say different things. There is a lot I still don’t know, so of course, but I always use Google and the more I do so the less often I need to. And for certain, some things I could make a good attempt to say with it would be super, super awkward but probably understood since English as it is outside of Jamaica isn’t exactly foreign there. It’s the national language, after all and people have been streaming Dance Hall princes like “The World Boss” for a while there, on their Internets, so….
But… learning to talk like them, with them, and from their perspective is how we (the supposedly more educated in the more proper, which there is no such thing) English white people can atone for the sins of our aristocracies and the ignorance of we common people, who are all just the same people no matter how characterized, and can integrate.
I will not make the argument for integration here, either to whites or to blacks, because it’s a topic all in it’s own; but, I’ll only assume that you realize, integration of our races is the best action for we who can see that there is only one way that racism is ended — full integration, till whites and blacks are one race — not one assimilated into being without the other, but both races, at the same time — one race.
To be educated is to know the way of people’s speech, writing, thoughts, and characteristics. How do we go on feeling as if our English as we speak it is the one true way, when we have learned from the old things that the English of our ancestors was not the language we speak at all. Is this English now more proper than it was before? And could there have ever been an English at all without other languages which came before it? Can you say that tomorrow, the way you speak will definitely not be something like how Latin is of use to us today.
Suh you di tap a di tap, den, Sir Edward Educate, Esquire, weh unu pree exactly the fucking opposite in the god damned books. You nuh bad. Unu cyaan read even this sentence, so… mi a di educate one.
If I can’t communicate with it completely, I can understand it if I try. And so can you.
My use of patwah isn’t an attempt to assert that I reflect the Jamaican person’s perspective. I do not, as I have made abundantly clear in all my writing, but is an attempt to understand and communicate with black people — a specific black people, but not one to be omitted in the understanding of black people by white people. I hope that white people will be understood more by blacks, too, and that understanding collectively as one will help the best traits spread out in our cultures to thin out the worst traits we all share in our humanity.
This is a noble pursuit to me. I do not take it lightly or appropriate for the sake of a gimmick. I have given much thought to race relations and how to improve them. It’s a thing that I want to be, and a thing that I believe mankind is able to do. So feel free, if you don’t talk like white people talk, to try it out. In America where I live, black people have a dialect that is characteristically not white. And while it’s not its own language like a creole, it’s a way of speaking that is not only valid but quintessential to the Americas as they are, and so it should be learned.
White people should go into rooms with all black people and talk exactly like them, and black people should go in rooms of only whites and communicate with them how they communicate.
And the language should morph completely so that the way we speak is no longer either a way a white or a black speaks, but some way that both speak interchangeably. And, furthermore, and more importantly I think, whether you agree or not… the language is going to morph into something that is mixed up of other things whether you like it or you don’t.
I was originally going to post some more thoughts about Jamaican music that I’ve been listening to and how I’m learning more about it… but… this manifesto of sorts is a disclaimer I want to have understood and it took some time to express. I hope you feel the the positive vybz and if you don’t, I’d like to understand why.
So we’ll save the interrupted rough draft in the other tab for later posting.