From commenter Whitey:
would you want someone who spoke in the tones of West Baltimore to potentially be the next vice-president, a position where you're speaking to the world?
Yes. Yes I would. But then I talk in the tones of West Baltimore, and I do my best not to change that, no matter who I'm talking to. It's who I am, and I'm not sure why I would want to be something else. I've never gotten the accent beef, beyond personal preference, or selling. I'm not sure why a Southern accent sounds stupid. When I was in college, I loved listening to the girls from South Carolina talk. You may not dig how Palin talks, but for my money, that really has no relevance to anything.
Also for the record Ta-Nehisi (pronounced Tah-Nuh-Hah-See) is an Egyptian name for ancient Nubia. I came up in a time when African/Arabic names were just becoming popular among black parents. I had a lot of buddies named Kwame, Kofi, Malik (actually have a brother with that name), Akilah and Aisha. My Dad had to be different, though. Couldn't just give me a run of the mill African name. I had to be a nation.