Black like Al?

Listen and be the judge: Does Al Gore change his tone when he talks to African-Americans?


Black like Al?

He’s no rapping Bulworth, but we notice a sort of, well, difference in Al Gore when he’s talking in front of a black audience. Sometimes, like during his primary debate against Bill Bradley, he just seems more animated. Other times, frankly, he just sounds like a white man trying to sound like a black man — and sounding even whiter than any man should be allowed to sound, for all his efforts.

Or are we just imagining this?

Here are a few links to some Gore speeches in front of all-black audiences, with a few listening guides. After listening, feel free to drop a letter to and let us know what you think.


Watch Al Gore’s July 12 speech to the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (fast-forward about three-quarters into the recording, past the lengthy introduction).

Highlights: When, while shouting, he exults: “Watch the work of my hands when joined with yours,” and later, “Allow yourself to believe we can do the right thing.”

A clip of Gore during a Feb. 21, 2000 debate in Harlem with Bill Bradley, at the Apollo Theater, where he’s his typical self until the very end, with his staccato pronunciation of “integration.”

You Might Also Like

The corker! An excerpt, from National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” of Gore preaching on January 19, 1998, to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., as part of the commemoration of Martin Luther King Day.

Highlights: Gore’s remarkable pronunciation of “resplendent,” and his comparison of Crips and Bloods to the Hutus and Tutsis, Balkan divisions, Protestants and Catholics, and other conflicts, where “slight differences have served as an excuse to unleash the evil that lies coiled in the human soul.”

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>