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 *****, Then Tell Me, Wh*****t Is?." This paper will discuss ***** logical soundness of the author's case by exam*****ing his line ***** reasoning and ***** use of evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided ***** what is inferred by h***** ***** of tone; this ***** 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). ***** defines "other" as someone "refusing ***** be defined ***** a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, *****.1). Does t***** mean ***** language applies to people in different ways? That one person using a certain ***** can *****tally reject it ***** invent a new ***** out ***** the old? B*****ldwin seems to think so and continues this stance by offering a solid ex*****mple. He elaborates that people from different French speaking countries use French ********** to a point the French being *****d has a different context for the setting. "A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living 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 argument prove the element ***** context applies ***** only ***** nationality but ***** race?

He believes language acts a universal tool for humanity despite the ***** 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 pol*****ical **********. He reflects that there is a time *****nd 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 mean life or ***** in ***** situations.

Still the individual speaking 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 ***** ***** to do with class, race and the relationship between the two. He comments that he does ***** "know what white Americans would sound like if ********** had never been any black ***** in the United States, but *****y ***** not sound the ***** ********** sound" (Baldwin, par. 4). This only solidifies the idea ***** one language can feed


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