If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? By James Baldwin

In James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”, Baldwin goes on to explain the importance if launguage and how it defines you as a person and people should be allowed to have their own language because language is something that makes a person who they are. This is evident when he says, “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by a reality that they cannot articulate.” He is basically saying different languages are created by different groups of people or even stem from other languages in order for them to express themselves because they do not want to live in a world in which they can not communicate or express themselves. I actually agree with this because it is clear that everyone likes to be connected and expressing themselves. This is especially evident now in the time of the internet because you see everyone sharing everything about themselves and commenting on other people’s posts. I also agree with when Baldwin says “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power”. Here he is basically saying that language is at the center of everything, because you need language for power and language is what is used to influence anyone from people in the street to government officials. This goes back to the fact that different groups create their own languages. A common language or languages is what holds a group together it’s why the slaves did not have the power to rebel for so long, they were weak as a group because they did not share the core of what gives a group their power, a common language. A common language is the base of power in any group, nation, or just people in general. This is why all people and groups should be allowed their own language and why black English is indeed a language.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Maximo Martinez Grullon
    I liked the description you made about Language and it importance. I also liked the way you compared the importance of language, back to the times of slaves and how they were on a disadvantages for not sharing a language.But I would like for you to add citation on the quotes that you used.

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