James Baldwin’s op-ed “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me,

 James Baldwin’s op-ed “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? It was something that I was not expecting and that many people should read it if they haven’t. Once I began to read, I felt myself agreeing with James Baldwin and understanding his way of thinking and  understanding of African American culture in America. Baldwin clarifies how the production of a language  “ comes into existence by means of necessity, and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey”  (Baldwin 2). The making of Black English is a prime examples of having to adapt to your surrounding. As per Baldwin, the power that drove the making of the presence of Black English was the noteworthy language something that squares or quits something between slaves brought into the U.S. Since they came for originating from an assortment of African clans and countries, they were not able successfully speak with one another so as to keep up a network and endure. According to Baldwin “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. (And, if they cannot articulate it, they are submerged.) A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles;”  this is showing how you can live in the same area but you can speak a whole different languages from the person living in the next town over. I interpret black English as a way for people from Africa  that have different languages to have a way to communicate to each other.

One thing that stood out was “The brutal truth is that the bulk of white people in American never had any interest in educating black people, except as this could serve white purposes”(Baldwin 3) . It show how they  were not being taught enough English to serve the white. Baldwin gave me a different point of view of black English.

Skip to toolbar