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 ***** English ***** a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?." This paper will discuss the logical soundness ***** the author's case by exam*****ing his line of reasoning and his use ***** evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided ***** what is inferred ***** his ***** of tone; this ***** will examine Baldwin's message.

The Author's Argument

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

He believes ***** acts a universal tool ***** humanity despite the ***** 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 th***** regard, he ***** with knowledge of language comes power and it ***** be used a politic*****l tool. He reflects that there is a time and place for its use, "reveals the private identity, ***** connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal *****" (Baldwin, par. 3). He explains *****cause ***** is *****ful, using it correctly is important and could ***** life or death in certain situations.

***** the individual ***** brings to language their style of articulation. ***** explains his argument also applies to *****. The variations found are less to do ***** physical surroundings but ***** to do with class, ***** and the relationship between the two. He comments that he ********** not "know what white Americans would sound like if ***** had ***** been any black people in ***** United States, but they would not sound the way ***** sound" (Baldwin, par. 4). This only solidifies ***** idea ***** one language can feed


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