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 Isn't a L*****nguage, Then Tell Me, ***** Is?." This paper will discuss ***** logical soundness of the author's case by exam*****ing his line of reasoning and his use of evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, ***** provided and what is inferred ***** his ***** of tone; this ***** 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 is born out *****'s use. 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 by a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, *****.1). Does this mean ***** language applies to people in different ways? That one person us*****g a certain language can *****tally reject it and invent a new ***** out of the old? ***** seems to think so and continues this stance by offering a solid example. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French differently to a point the French being used has a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly ***** crucially ***** language from that of the man liv*****g in Marseilles" (Baldwin, par. 2). He uses this element of context to back up his argument about ***** 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 ***** 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, *****. 3). In this regard, he ***** with knowledge of language comes power and it ***** be used a politic*****l tool. He reflects ***** there is a time *****nd place for its use, "reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, ***** larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin, par. 3). He explains *************** language is powerful, using it correctly ***** important and could ***** life or death in ***** situations.

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


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