Quotation by June Jordan

Language is political. That's why you and me, my Brother and Sister, that's why we sposed to choke our natural self into the weird, lying, barbarous, unreal, white speech and writing habits that the schools lay down like holy law. Because, in other words, the powerful don't play; they mean to keep that power, and those who are the powerless (you and me) better shape up—mimic/ape/suck—in the very image of the powerful, or the powerful will destroy you—you and our children.
June Jordan (b. 1939), U.S. poet, civil rights activist. (First published 1972). "White English/Black English: The Politics of Translation," Moving Towards Home: Political Essays (1989).
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