Asian-American actress, Awkwafina, born Nora Lum addressed the criticism she has faced over the years for having a 'blaccent.' In a letter shared on Twitter, the 33-year-old Golden Globe Winner talked about her usage of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).
Throwing light on the 'historical context of the African American community in this country,' she stressed how 'linguistic acculturation, immigrant acculturation, and the inevitable passage of globalized internet slang all play a factor in the fine line between offense and pop culture.'
She further added that being a non-black POC, she will 'always listen and work tirelessly to understand the history and context of AAVE.' "To mock, belittle, or to be unkind in any way possible at the expense of others is: Simply. Not. My. Nature. It never has, and it never was," she said.
Awkwafina has often been called out for using a 'blaccent.' A critic once pointed out that it was 'annoying' how the actress says she will never do a 'stereotypical Asian accent as it is disrespectful to my people,' but goes on to use a blaccent for comedic effect.
The actress, however, noted in her letter that her speech was heavily influenced by her surroundings and her immigrant background allowed her to 'carve an American identity off the movies and TV shows she watched, the children she went to public school with, and her undying love and respect for hip hop.'
Awkwafina concluded her letter by saying that she wants to spend the rest of her career doing nothing but 'uplifting our communities.' "We do this first by failing, learning, acknowledging, hearing, and empathizing... And I will continue, tirelessly, to do just that," she said.
The actress noted that she will be leaving Twitter but will keep her other social media pages.