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 *****, Then ***** Me, Wh*****t Is?." This paper will discuss ***** logical soundness of the author's case by exam*****ing his line of reasoning and his use ***** evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, ***** provided and what is inferred by h***** use 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 ***** born out ********** 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 to be defined by a ***** that has never been able ***** recognize him" (Baldwin, par.1). Does t***** mean that language applies to people in different ways? That one person using a certain language can *****tally reject it and invent a new ***** out of the old? ***** seems to think so and continues this stance by *****fering a solid ex*****mple. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French ********** to a point the French being *****d h*****s a different context for ***** 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 ***** element of context to back up his argument about ***** acting ***** same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this ***** prove the element of context applies not only to nationality but ***** race?

***** believes ***** acts a universal tool ***** humanity despite the ***** of *****. He *****es, "What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death" (Baldwin, par. 3). In this regard, he ***** with knowledge of language comes power and it can be used a pol*****ical **********. He reflects that there is a time and 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 because language is *****ful, using it c*****rectly is important and could mean life or ***** in certain 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 ***** between the two. He comments that he ***** not "know what white Americans would sound like if there had never been any black people in the United States, but they would not sound the way ***** sound" (Baldwin, *****. 4). This only solidifies the idea ***** one language can feed


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