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, What Is?." This paper will discuss the logical soundness ***** the author's case by examining his line of reasoning and his use ***** evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided ***** what is inferred by his 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 ***** is that language is born out people's *****. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals the speaker. *****, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). ***** defines "other" as someone "refusing to be defined ***** a language that has never been able ***** recognize him" (Baldwin, par.1). Does this mean ***** language applies to people in different ways? That one person us*****g a certain language can totally reject it and invent a new ***** out ***** the old? ***** seems to think so ********** continues this 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 ***** same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this ***** prove the element ***** context applies ***** only to nationality but ***** race?

He believes ***** acts a universal *****ol 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 th***** regard, he ***** with knowledge of language comes power and it ***** be used a pol*****ic*****l **********. He reflects ***** there is a time *****nd place ***** its use, "***** the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, ***** larger, public, or communal *****" (Baldwin, par. 3). He explains beca***** language is *****ful, using it correctly is important and could mean 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 do ***** physical surroundings ***** more ***** do with class, race and the relationship between the two. He comments that he ********** ***** "know what white Americans would sound like if ***** had ***** been any black ***** in the United States, but ********** would not sound the ***** ********** sound" (Baldwin, *****. 4). This only solidifies the idea ***** one language can feed


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