From the characteristics of an author’s writing, the reader can tell whether the author’s piece is effective. Despite how long ago they were made, Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to criticism from some clergymen in “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and James Baldwin's “If Black English Isn't A Language, Then Tell Me What Is” on the role of language, remain important pieces of writing today because they still relate to the ongoing internal separation between races in America. Their long time recognition has their writing being compared to give readers with insight on how to develop their own argument successfully. King’s essay is more effective than Baldwin’s because of their different style, character, and vocabulary.
Linda Flower, the literacy leader at the Community Literacy Center in Pittsburgh, illustrates Sharples' definition of ideology through the example of her experience in teaching a group of teenage writers how to develop strategies for writing on issues affecting the lives of teenagers. Flower's advice to distinguish the use of "Black English" and Standard Written English in writing sparks a skepticism and misunderstandings with one of the teenagers' mentors, Drena, an African American descent, due to different understanding of the "Black English" term. Sharples defines ideology as a set of assumptions based on the cultural and social background that influence a person's understanding and action. As different people may have different ideology,
In his essay, James Baldwin makes a convincing argument about Black English and how it is a language of its own. Baldwin uses a lot of logic to support his claim. He is a credible author on this subject because of his background, experience with the Civil Rights movement and experience living in America and France. Because of Baldwin’s set up of arguments, and great credibility, his essay has a better flow to it. One thing that Baldwin does is, He supports his claim by saying that there can be many versions of a "general" language depending on the region where it is spoken.
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.
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
The book begins with anecdotes about the defamation of black bodies by white people and by Christianity itself. When speaking about his adolescence, Baldwin writes that “Owing to the way I had been raised, the abrupt discomfort that all this aroused in me and the fact that I had no idea what my voice or my mind or my body was likely to do next caused me to consider myself one of the most depraved people on earth” (Baldwin 17). The platonized Christian tradition that Baldwin was a part of saw the body, and especially the black body, as a symbol of sin, and so the onset of puberty became a source of guilt because of its association with sexuality (Brown Douglas
Baldwin stated that “Language is determined by the person that is speaking it.” The audience is anyone that doesn’t consider “Black English” a language, people that don’t use
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.
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.
Baldwin’s solution for black people is for them to create their own identity and take a stab at achievement regardless of the social requirements or constraints set before them. For, “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger". I was fascinated by the comparison of “Letter to My Son” by Ta-Nahisi Coates to that of Baldwin’s. Although they both bring forward the same topics and issues faced by the black community, however they both do not view the problem in the same way, as far as proposing a solution is concerned. For example, Baldwin proposed a solution in which he urges the black community through his nephew to recognize the shameful acts of injustice in America, and express acceptance with love towards the whites even though they may not do the same in
“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.
The ongoing problem of discrimination due to appearance has affected many, specifically black people. One of the most unusual things with no point or definition. This prejudice against black people has caused much unification within the United States. The lives of these black people have been severely affected, as it has affected their acts, appearances, and ways of life. As Brent Staples explains in his essay “Black Men and Public Space,” black people deal with many problems, from discrimination, and he explains these points in an orderly manner and each very thoroughly.
James Baldwin is an activist and writer that was born and raised in Harlem that stood for equality within the black community. Baldwin is the grandson of a former slave and was the oldest of nine children where he grew up in poverty. At the age of fourteen, he discovered his passion for writing and reading by his hobby was going to libraries. As year He published his first book in 1955 known as Notes of a Native Son. The novel Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin displays a collection of essays of where he critiques racism and examines the culture of Blacks in White America.
The Harlem Renaissance was a development period that took place in Harlem, New York. The Renaissance lasted from 1910 to about the mid-1930s, this period is considered a golden age in African American culture. This Renaissance brought about masterful pieces of music, literature, art, and stage performance. The Harlem Renaissance brought about many prominent black writers such as Richard Wright. Richard Wright is a highly acclaimed writer, who stressed the importance of reading, writing, and words.
In discussing Black English, John McWhorter talks about the theories of the origin of the language. McWhorter talks about how people have made claims that Black English is related and comes from African languages. He also tells how their research on this subject is unreliable and “sketchy.” These people making these claims are outside of linguistics, meaning they practice things such as education and speech pathology. People like Dr. Smith, a teacher at a medical college, suggested that Black English is a mixture of African languages with English, where these African languages have altered English into a new language.