Clutch magazine‘s Janelle Harris admits that she’s at least partly guilty of “pandering to the social convention that dismisses the way black folks speak as sounding uneducated.”
I don’t have anything personal against The Pine-Sol Lady. She’s probably a very nice person who has made valuable contributions to society, her community, maybe even her industry during her career as an actress and product spokesperson.
But every time I see one of those commercials, I roll my eyes because for reasons known only to her, she’s been OK with years and years of scripting that have made her come off as a modern-day mammy. In order to lend extra credibility to the power of Pine-Sol, she’s had to oomph it up with a little baby-honey-sugar catch phrasing. I guess, in the minds of the advertising team over there at Clorox brands, if it’s endorsed by someone who looks and sounds like she could be an old-school domestic, then maybe consumers will believe that it really must be that good.
I’m not against the way she talks. Black speak is my first language, too, the tongue I feel most comfortable chatting, even blogging, in. By day, I’m a freelance writer and copyeditor. Though the latter is necessary, it’s certainly not the sexy, artistic, Carrie Bradshaw side of the editorial field.
Read Janelle Harris’ entire piece at Clutch magazine.
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