Essay - Analysis of 'If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell...

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Analysis of "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?"


This paper will look at the argument presented by James Baldwin in his essay called "If Black English ***** a Language, Then Tell Me, ***** Is?." This ***** will discuss the logical soundness of the author's case by examining his line of reasoning and ***** use ***** evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided ***** what is inferred by h***** use of tone; this paper will examine Baldwin's message.

The Author's Argument

***** Baldwin makes ***** argument language itself is not the issue but the role of language and its relationship to people in society. Basically his argument is that language ***** born out people's *****. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals the speaker. Language, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). He defines "other" as someone "refusing ***** be defined ***** a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, *****.1). Does th***** mean that language applies to people in different ways? That one person us*****g a certain ***** can *****tally reject it ***** invent a new ***** out of the old? ***** seems to think so ********** continues this stance by *****fering a solid example. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French ********** to a point the French being used has a different context for ***** setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially ***** language from that of the man liv*****g in Marseilles" (Baldwin, par. 2). He uses ***** element of context to back up his argument about English acting ***** same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this ***** prove the element ***** context applies ***** only ***** nationality but also race?

***** believes language acts a universal tool for humanity despite the issue of context. He notes, "What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death" (Baldwin, par. 3). In ***** regard, he ***** with knowledge of language comes power and it can be used a pol*****ic*****l tool. He reflects ***** there ***** a time *****nd place ***** its use, "reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, ***** larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin, par. 3). He explains beca***** ***** is powerful, using it c*****rectly is important and could ***** life or ***** in ***** situations.

Still the individual ***** brings to language their style of articulation. He explains his argument also applies to *****. The variations found are less to ***** ***** physical surroundings ***** more to do with class, race and the relationship between the two. He comments that he *****es not "know what white Americans would sound like if ***** had never been any black ***** in the United States, but ********** would not sound the ***** ********** sound" (Baldwin, *****. 4). This only solidifies the idea ***** one language can feed


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