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, Wh*****t Is?." This ***** will discuss the logical soundness ***** 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, evidence provided ***** what is inferred ***** h***** ***** of tone; this paper will examine Baldwin's message.

The Author's Argument

James Baldwin makes the argument language itself is not the issue but the role of language and its relationship to people in society. Basically his ***** is that language is born out people's use. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals the speaker. *****, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). ***** defines "other" as someone "refusing ***** be defined by a ***** that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, *****.1). Does th***** mean ***** language applies to people in different ways? That one person us*****g a certain language can *****tally reject it and invent a new one out ***** 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 h*****s a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different 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 English acting ***** same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this argument prove the element of context applies not only ***** nationality but ***** race?

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

Still 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 but more ***** do with class, race and the relationship between the two. He comments that he does not "know what white Americans would sound like if ***** had ***** been any black ***** in the United States, but ********** would not sound the way they sound" (Baldwin, par. 4). This only solidifies the idea ***** one ***** can feed


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