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 Isn't a *****, Then ***** Me, ***** Is?." This paper will discuss the logical soundness of the author's case by examining his line ***** reasoning and his use of evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, ***** provided and what is inferred by h***** ***** 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 ***** its relationship to people in society. Basically his argument is that language is born out ********** use. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals ***** speaker. Language, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). ***** defines "other" as someone "refusing ***** be defined ***** a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, par.1). Does this mean that language applies to people in different ways? That one person us*****g a certain ***** can totally reject it and invent a new one out of the old? ***** seems to think so *****nd continues this stance by offering a solid example. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French *****ly to a point the French being used has a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles" (Baldwin, par. 2). He uses ***** element of context to back up his argument about English acting the same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this argument prove the element ***** context applies not only ***** nationality but also race?

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

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


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