James Baldwin On Language

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James Baldwin was born in 1924 in New York between 1950s and 1960s became an active participant of the Civil Right Movement. In his essay, “If Black English isn’t a language, then tell me, what is?” Baldwin explains the connection within power that “language” and “dialect” have. Using examples from different countries, Baldwin corroborate the ways that language can operate as, “a political instrument, means, and proof of power.” (Baldwin, 452) In this essay Baldwin clearly states that “The argument has nothing to do with language itself but with the role of language.” (Baldwin 453). Throughout history we can find how discrimination against minorities, people of color, immigrant and other more characteristics that describe a person, injure and bring apart that part of the society. However, “People evolve a language in…show more content…
It is very easy to make judgements and assumptions about someone by the way they speak. However, it can be the same exact language, but the way they speak it, the way it sounds they are automatically consider different. Baldwin clarify the argument about how your language can easily define you as a person “... is the most vivid and crucial key to identity, it reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity” (Baldwin 454) Culture affect the way a language is use. As the author introduce how essential language is, to either put people together or set them apart. Language basically identifies who you are and it connects you to a community of people that are similar to
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