Essay on If Black Isn 't A Language, Then Tell Me, By James Baldwin

1027 Words Mar 7th, 2016 null Page
Novelist and poet, James Baldwin, expresses himself on a hearty topic in his essay, “If Black Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” Through carefully-structured wording and literary devices such as allusion, James Baldwin depicts the intricacy of languages and the significance of the black language in America. Written in 1979, Baldwin enlightens the readers on the desperate need for man to be able to vocalize his thoughts through language, the importance of a specific language in America, and how it came to be. Baldwin sheds much light on a topic that many people in America live, yet have possibly never even thought about.

Baldwin starts out his second paragraph by informing readers on why people feel the need to create and evolve their language. “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances or in order not to be submerged by a situation that they cannot articulate.” Basically, Baldwin believes that if it were not for language, humans would lack the ability to properly control their circumstances, being overruled by their surroundings. He then goes on to demonstrate the intricacy of languages with a detailed example of various dialects of the French language in different areas of France and the rest of the world. He ties this all up by basically stating that although they share the “common” language of French, all of these people are not saying the same things in the same way.

In the fourth paragraph, Baldwin stresses the…

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