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, ***** Is?." This paper will discuss ***** 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, ***** provided ***** what is inferred by h***** use of tone; this paper 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 people's use. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals ***** speaker. Language, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the o*****r" (par. 1). He defines "other" as someone "refusing to be defined ***** a l*****nguage that has never been able ***** recognize him" (Baldwin, par.1). Does t***** mean ***** language applies to people in different ways? That one person using a certain language can *****tally reject it ***** invent a new ***** out of the old? Baldwin seems to think so and continues th***** stance by offering a solid example. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French ********** to a point the French being used has a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and 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 the same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this ***** prove ***** element of context applies ***** only ***** nationality but also race?

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

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


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