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 Tell Me, What Is?." This paper will discuss the logical soundness of the author's case by examining his line ***** reasoning and his use of evidence. Paying attention to writing style, structure of the argument, evidence provided and what is inferred ***** 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 ********** use. He writes, "Language incontestably, reveals ***** speaker. Language, also, for more dubiously, is meant to define the other" (par. 1). ***** defines "other" as someone "refusing to be defined by a language that has never been able to recognize him" (Baldwin, *****.1). Does th***** mean that language applies to people in different ways? That one person using a certain ***** can totally reject it ***** invent a new ***** out of the old? ***** seems to think so ********** continues this stance by *****fering a solid example. 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 ***** language from that of the man living in Marseilles" (Baldwin, par. 2). He uses ***** element of context to back up his argument about English acting the same way. How does he do this effectively? Could this ***** prove ***** element of context applies ***** only ***** nationality but also race?

***** believes ***** acts a universal tool ***** humanity despite the ***** of *****. He notes, "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 believes with knowledge of language comes power and it ***** be used a pol*****ic*****l **********. He reflects that there is a time *****nd place for its use, "reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, ***** larger, public, or communal identity" (Baldwin, *****. 3). He explains *************** ***** is powerful, ***** it correctly is important and could ***** life or ***** in certain situations.

Still the individual ***** brings to language their style of articulation. ***** explains his argument also applies to *****. The variations found are less to ***** with physical surroundings ***** ***** to do ***** class, ***** and the relationship between the two. He comments that he does ***** "know what white Americans would sound like if there had ***** been any black ***** in the United States, but *****y would not sound the way they sound" (Baldwin, par. 4). This only solidifies the idea that one ***** can feed


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