The World’s 10 Greatest Enunciating-Ass Negroes, Ranked » VSB

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The World’s 10 Greatest Enunciating-Ass Negroes, Ranked

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10. Pusha T

No one has ever made crack speak so crisp. You listen to him say “Arm & Hammer and a Mason jar, that’s my dinner date” and you want to diagram a sentence.

9. Tika Sumpter

Perhaps the world’s most underrated enunciator. She’s the Paul Millsap of enunciation.

8. Phylicia Rashad

I heard her speak on a panel at the August Wilson Center for African American culture once, and every word she spoke sounded like money. Like, she’d say “May I have a pretzel, please?” and I’d hear “there’s 50 years of training and 30 million dollars behind this vowel sound.”

7. Mike Colter 

Enunciates on screen like someone who thinks they’re doing a voiceover and hasn’t yet realized we can see him too.

6. Michelle Obama

When they go low, we pronounce every damn letter in “high.”

5. Viola Davis

Has perfected the enunciation of shame. She can enunciate a word and make you reevaluate your life and question your entire reason for living. When she enunciates, niggas find God.

4. Micheal Eric Dyson

Is easily the Guinness world record holder in fully articulated syllables per second.

3. Joe Morton

Regularly makes syllables his bitch. Like, syllables see Joe Morton coming and they avert their eyes and cross the street. He treats syllables like they were talking shit about him in a GroupMe chat and he just found out about it.

2. Courtney B. Vance

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Vance/Bassett household, just to hear Courtney say “we ran out of toilet paper” or “pass me my gout ointment and a straw” and make it sound profound as fuck.

1. Angela Bassett

This is why she still looks so good. All of that stretching and straining from enunciating is keeping her in great shape.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • NomadaNare

    This man speaks like Moses would speak if he spoke English and was black

  • Also Dame Dash. He is on the cusp of misusing a big word all day, every day.

  • cysinblack

    Robin Givens in Boomerang easily outclasses your number one in the black upper crust of speech rankings.

  • grownandsexy2

    Rev. Dr. MLK for his oratorical skills. He almost led us to the promised land.

  • Skegeeaces

    Honorable mention: Giancarlo Esposito aka “Dean Big Brother AL-MIGHT-Y!”

    “I am not from AF-RI-CA!”

    • miss t-lee

      Also Roger Guenveur Smith

    • Val

      I liked listening to him as Gustavo Fring.

      • Jennifer

        He was my fave on Breaking Bad!

        • “M”

          He’s back on Better Call Saul.


      • Skegeeaces


        “I don’t care if she’s blind, fat, no teeth, one leg in a kickstand. I ain’t pledging no VIRGINS!”


  • Valerie

    I love to hear Kerry Washington, Gina Torres and Nicole Beharie talk. Also name dropping that I got Mike Colter’s autograph at a Comic Con

    • Tam

      You just love Nicole Beharie

      • and why not?

        • Tam

          I aint have no quarrels there

        • Looking4Treble

          Indeed. All of that in a 5’1″ frame? Goodness.

      • Valerie

        This is true. I LOVE HER. She’s so fierce and short. I want to be like her one day. They say you stop caring and become your true self when you hit 30, so I have time.

        • Tam

          Hmmm. Not!

          • Valerie

            You don’t become your true self at 30? That’s what all my married older friends tells me lol

            • Tam

              You also hear that you are an adult at 18….

            • LMNOP

              Turning 30 is great. You really do stop caring a lot about what people think.

              • Valerie

                Well I have a few more years before I get that feeling. I’m still going to cry when I hit that age in true dramatic fashion lol

            • miss t-lee

              You just stop caring about a lot of trivial sh*t at 30. 35+ you level up again.

              • LMNOP

                I’ve only been 35 for a few days, so I’m not quite an expert at it yet. But since I turned 35, at least 3 or 4 times a day I think “I’m too old for this sht.”

                • Jennifer

                  “I’m too old for this sht.”

                  That’s you caring about your sanity. Valid.

                • miss t-lee

                  It happens slowly.
                  I just up and decided I was taking tomorrow off. See how much I care?

                  • Tam

                    I did that today.

                    • miss t-lee


                    • Tam

                      Girl i used to worry about not missing a day of work and being extra early. I’ve stopped

                    • miss t-lee

                      I don’t worry about any of that, because I’m always here, so If I need time off nobody bats an eyelash.

                  • Kat

                    Shoot I told them in a meeting on Monday. It was an update. FYI. See ya later.

                    • miss t-lee


                • Kas

                  Belated Happy Birthday

                  • LMNOP


              • No lie detected.

                • miss t-lee


              • Valerie

                Yup that’s where I think they were trying to go with their statements

        • ? cynmac’s reclaiming her time

          40 – that’s when ALL the Bullshit Ends.

    • Darkchloe144

      Oh, I love Gina Torres!

      • Gina is my shero…. after my mama,… I wanna be THAT fine!

        • Jennifer

          How perfect that her bae is enunciating azz Larry Fishburne!

          • Yep!!

          • SororSalsa

            I would love to have dinner with them, Angela & Courtney or Viola and Julius. Just listening to the dinner chatter would be FIRE!

    • Val

      Upvoting that gif.

    • Ooooo noooo!! Kerry Washington’s voice and face when she speaks makes my ayus itch!

      • Jennifer

        I think Kerry’s enunciatory skills wouldn’t be as potent if we didn’t see her face. She has a lousy poker face. I’d invite her to a game of bid whist for that reason alone.

      • SororSalsa

        Kerry’s speech pattern on Scandal makes me want to chew nails.

      • Valerie


    • Mary Burrell

      Gina Torres Mrs. Fishburn is such a great actress she’s one of my favorites.

  • Randle Aubrey

    Honorable mention for Angela Davis, who, with a simple request of “pass the salt” will have you marching on Washington before you even knew how you got there.

    • Charlito Brown

      Not only her enunciation, but her cadence is one of a kind. So much character.

      • LMNOP

        True, everything about how she speaks is one of a kind. She sounds very deliberate, like every word that comes out of her mouth was carefully selected as just the right word.

      • Randle Aubrey

        I saw her speak at my local university a couple of years ago. She had an audience of five hundred college students hanging on her every. Last. Word. She coulda been talking about best practices for shoelace tying, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. We were spellbound. <3

      • Brother Mouzone

        Authoritative like a mug.

        • Charlito Brown

          Feminine, tender, strong, and authoritative, all at the same time.

  • BM, Superman

    I want to meet the team of linguists who helped create this list.

    Barack is missing.

    • Ms.Moon

      I saw a documentary about him and I heard his sister speak I’m guessing the heavy voice is hereditary his sister also has a very deep rich voice. It’s clearly a woman’s voice but a very deep rich textured voice. It made me wonder what their mother sounded like.

    • grownandsexy2

      And incredibly chexxy. His voice and white teeth just ooze chexx.

    • miss t-lee

      definitely a nod.

    • Cheech

      For that matter, James Earl Jones?

      Eta. Oops, already covered.

    • Looking4Treble


      • Uncle Remus


      • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

        “Sisko!” yells the blerd.

    • Charlito Brown

      Good one. That brother enunciates his footsteps lol. Had jury duty with him once when I was like 19. He still had the same presence even though he was doing something so regular.

    • Shole can!!!

    • FromTokyo

      My captain, my boo. ?

    • Blue Skies Bring Tears

      Aah yes! Sisko was the best! I loved when he punched Q. “Picard would have never hit me!” whined Q.

      “I’m not Picard.”

      • lkeke35

        One of the Greatest Black Moments in Star Trek History! Along with The original Uhura sassing Mr. Spock.

      • Sneaky White People

        What about Jesse Jackson? Didn’t he enunciate his way to almost the Democratic nomination for president in 1988. More importantly, didn’t he invent spoken word, even before Henry Rollins tried to take credit for it?

  • siante

    I thought Paul Mooney would most certainly be on this list

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