The article “From outside, in,” by Barbara Mellix reveals the difficulties among the black ethnicity to differentiate between two diverse but similar languages. One is “black English”, which is comfortable to her while speaking with her family and community and the other is “standard English”, generally used while talking in public with strangers and work. Since childhood Mellix was taught when and where to use either black English or standard English. To illustrate, seeing her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh, where there was wide range use of both languages, she learned to manage both languages with ease.
Well Baldwin believes so. In the story Baldwin also states that he believes that if there was not any black people in the United States white people would not sound the same; English is just a purified version of Black English. I believe that people from different areas have different struggles, which would ultimately affect their variation of that language.
Baldwin goes on to explain that denying the legitimacy of AAVE as a language perpetuates damaging errors in the study of language, such as conflating language with social status and treating children as miniature adults. Baldwin argues that AAVE is not simply a variation of English but a distinct language with its own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. He emphasizes the political and social implications of language, and argues that language is not only a means of communication but also a tool for asserting power and identity. AAVE is not simply a variation of English but a distinct language with its own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. It is a means for African Americans to express their identity and connect with their cultural
Baldwin is a credible author because he grew up during the Jim Crow era. Throughout the essay he uses anecdotal evidence to appeal to the emotions. One example is when he wrote about not getting served at the diner and the scene caused because of it. While Baldwin states this all calmly, the scenario tugs at the
If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? By James Baldwin explains to the reader what black English is and where black English comes from. Baldwin writes about how humans use language as a means of controlling the world around them. Baldwin explains that people may speak the same language in one area of the world, but then people who speak the same language elsewhere are no longer speaking the same language. Baldwin using French as an exampling, Baldwin compares french-speaking people from Quebec to people who live in Paris.
In William Brennan’s article, “Julie Washington’s Quest to Get Schools to Respect African-American English”, he explores a case-study which reveals that speakers of AAVE (African American Vernacular English) are often belittled, ridiculed, and overlooked. The ignorance for their dialect of English results in statistically low-performing standardized test scores. While some would argue that this phenomenon occurs because their vernacular is incorrect, other researchers have decided that this dialect difference accounts for the black-white literacy gap. Author Curt Dudley-Marling asserts that “children must learn the formal language of schooling. There is little to be gained, however, by pathologizing the language and culture of children living in poverty” (368).
Baldwin uses an advanced vocabulary throughout the essay, but only uses slang terms when referring to African Americans. By using phrases like “But if I was a "nigger" in your eyes”, he shows the audience what the words culturally imply such as stupidity and ignorance. Since this is
In James Baldwin’s essay titled “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me What Is?” Baldwin highlights his major argument by capitalizing the words in the title so that it can stand out to the readers. His main idea is that all languages are equal, and there is an inequality in society where one is judged by the way they speak. Baldwin wanted the readers to understand that all languages do serve a purpose no matter how a person articulates it. Baldwin also wanted to convey that there is racism that is placed upon a black person just because of the way they speak.
In A Letter to My Nephew, James Baldwin, the now deceased critically acclaimed writer, pens a message to his nephew, also named James. This letter is meant to serve as a caution to him of the harsh realities of being black in the United States. With Baldwin 's rare usage of his nephew 's name in the writing, the letter does not only serve as a letter to his relative, but as a message to black youth that is still needed today. Baldwin wrote this letter at a time where his nephew was going through adolescence, a period where one leaves childhood and inches closer and closer to becoming an adult.
Racism and racial inequality was extremely prevalent in America during the 1950’s and 1960’s. James Baldwin shows how racism can poison and make a person bitter in his essay “Notes of a Native Son”. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “A Letter from Birmingham Jail” also exposes the negative effects of racism, but he also writes about how to combat racism. Both texts show that the violence and hatred caused from racism form a cycle that never ends because hatred and violence keeps being fed into it. The actions of the characters in “Notes of a Native Son” can be explain by “A Letter from Birmingham Jail”, and when the two texts are paired together the racism that is shown in James Baldwin’s essay can be solved by the plan Dr. King proposes in his
In James Baldwin’s essay, “A Talk to Teachers”, he addresses the teachers around the world. He argues that the purpose of education is to equip students with the ability to look at the world for themselves. Clearly, Baldwin’s most significant rhetorical move to persuade the reader is his use of ethos, pathos, and repetition. Throughout Baldwin’s essay, he encourages changes in education for blacks, but he does so using ethos and pathos.
His goal as an author was to make his make his readers more conscious and aware of the social climate. For James Baldwin, he felt that literature should be an artistic creation, not used for a political agenda. Although
It was once believed that the languages that the Africans spoke varied drastically from region to region but in reality they were “local variations of a deeper-lying structural similarity” (Herkovits 79). This similarity allowed communicating in the New World to be easier than if the languages were all completely linguistically independent, “whether Negro speech employs English or French or Spanish or Portuguese vocabulary, the identical constructions found over all the New World can only be regarded as a reflection of the underlying similarities in grammar and idiom, which, in turn, are common to the West African Sudanese tongues” (80). Language then became an important part of African American culture, whether it be a “secret” language used to help slaves escape, or to tell stories and folklore to children to encourage and motivate them, or express African proverbs from generation to generation. There has been many times when other races seem not to understand what African Americans are saying because of the slang terms we create that then become popular terms, most recently has been the phrases “on fleek” and “twerking”, to name a few examples. Being proficient in verbal arts was prized in Africa and now a value has been placed on verbal expression in today’s culture through riddles and through preaching and teaching (Williams
“If Black English Isn’t a Language Then Tell Me What Is” In the essay “If Black Isn’t a Language Then Tell Me What Is” (The New York Times, 1979) written by James Baldwin, the author asserts that the African American community has altered the English language into a new language during the last five centuries to accommodate the black experience in American history despite the white’s attempt to submerge it. To begin the essay he makes his argument clear by referencing the alterations the French made to their native language to describe how people will eventually “...evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances…”; furthermore he continues to analyze how the caucasian people of America have only accepted the black language when it came out of a white mouth; he ends the essay by reinforcing his position, elaborating on the racism black’s have faced when they were denied the right to an education unless it was for the white benefit. His liberal purpose is to bring light to the subtle racism that African Americans experience even after the Civil Rights movement and to acknowledge the cultural influence they have in America. His writing appears very personal and intimate like he’s voluntarily opening up to his audience by letting them know of his own struggles as an African American, targeting mostly minorities and people who feel oppressed by white America.