chapter  5
22 Pages

A Phenomenology of the Racialized Tongue

Embodiment, Language, and the Bodies That Speak
BySachi Sekimoto, Christopher Brown

This chapter approaches the act of speaking as habituated embodiment, resulting from an orchestration of vocal, auditory, and sensorimotor experiences within a particular system of cultural and ideological practice. The act of speaking is ideological not only because of the symbolic content of speech but more fundamentally because it materially and kinesthetically engages the body based on culturally established rules and norms. The notion of mimicry reveals the ambivalence embedded in the constitution of self-other, colonizer-colonized, and white-nonwhite relations. The phenomenon of speaking white-while-black enables an understanding of how the politics of race shape the embodied act of speaking, as exemplified in code-switching and styleshifting by black Americans. The politics of speaking white-while-black highlights the racialized meanings within the embodied act of speaking.