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If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is?
Transcript of If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is?
Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is?
Literary Elements Used:
- The tone is
- Historical Allusions: to slavery,
-Personification: "...to be defined by a language that has never been able to recognize him." (pg.5, para. 1)
“If Black English Isn’t a Language Then tell me what is?” can be classified as a Persuasive Essay, due to the characteristics it portrays. An Argumentative essay attempts to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s viewpoint.
Connection to Our World
Discuss situations in your life where you've experienced discrimination against Black English.
By : JAMES 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." (pg. 138, para 2)
"What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death: The price of this is the acceptance, and achievement, of one's temporal identity." (pg. 138, para 3)
"It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identity." (pg. 138, para 4)
"...under these conditions, the slave began the formation of the black church, and it is within this unprecedented tabernacle that black English began to be formed." (pg. 139, para.7)
"A language comes into existence by means of brutal necessity , and the rules of the language are dictated by what the language must convey"(pg. 139, para. 7)
Baldwin argues that 'Black English' (the language that was formed by African slaves upon arrival to America) was formed so that the community could communicate, and control their circumstances. Ignoring the idea that it is it's own language, goes against the definition of
"The argument has nothing to do with language itself but with the role of language." (pg.137, para 1)
(the thesis statement)
2d) Persuasive Elements
Strong (elevated) language/ diction
ex) "unprecedented journey", "vivid and crucial key", "mighty achievement"
- First Person POV
Makes the essay more personal, the ideas can be viewed as the true feelings of the author.
- Relatable Social Examples:
Referencing slavery in America was significant
Persuasive Essay structure
1. The introduction
is aimed to get the full attention of the reader. The opening statement needs to be clear and logical and the thesis idea should be thoroughly presented.
2. The Body paragraphs
reveal the arguments that support the thesis statement. Each of the three arguments should include:
-the point of argument
-the explanation of the argument
-facts/evidence that support the idea/thesis
-a small summary leading to the next argument
summarizes the idea being portrayed. It is the evaluation of the statements made and the arguments given. The conclusion acts as a “knockout” so the reader is persuaded by the author’s viewpoint.
"Facebook Pirate Language." One Mans Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <static.onemansblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Facebook-Pirate-Language.jpg>.
"James Baldwin." PBS. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://www-tc.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/files/2008/08/610_baldwin_intro.jpg>.
“Jazz Player." Joyen. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <www.joyen.net/VOASpecial/soft0627/2010
"Report Card." Technorati. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2013. <http://scm-l3.technorati.com/11/12/10/58335/Report-Card(2).jpg?t=20111210142822>.
"Discrimination in the United States." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.
Harper, Sue, and Douglas Hilker. Elements of Essays: Patterns, Purpose, and Perspectives. Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 2002. Print.
After reading the essay do you feel that the term Black English is a synonym for 'slang/informal talk'?
Thank you for listening, any questions?
Why is it that Black English is commonly understood as being a form of poor educated English?