Daily Archives: September 14, 2014

On Race and Voice (HUM425)

Is it diction? Elocution and inflection? Rhythm? The timbre or grain of the voice? Do voices have races or can a race have a voice? I’ve been thinking about this for days, in part because the race/voice connection brings together visual and aural registers, but also because to claim that a voice “sounds [insert racial marker here]” is to automatically gesture at the fact that our senses are not simply natural but culturally constructed. I hear what I have been taught to be able to hear just as I see what my education tells me is visible. Roaming the net, I came across this interview with the authors of Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the US:

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