Summary and Responce to "Black English"

Summary and Response

Word Count 366


In the essay titled, "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?"

James Baldwin states what he thinks the role of language is. He also distinguishes between the characteristics of a language and the characteristics of a dialect and also the relationship between language and reality. Baldwin also talks about the fact that little phrases today such as, "jazz me, baby" and "let it all hang out" would not have originated and then later purified by white people if there had never been any black people in the United States. He also states that people emerge a language to communicate with their own kind almost for security reasons and comfort.


While reading this essay I was thinking about the fact that I do not agree with the Author. I do not believe that there is such a language as Black English. I think that it is safe to say that there is some certain slang, or dialect to the English language, but would never put it into a category by itself. Since when did dialect become known as a specific language? I do not think that Hispanic people, when not speaking English, speak Hispanic English. Or people who live in Alabama or Texas have their own language, just because they have a southern slang. I think that Baldwin wrote this essay to inform those who are ignorant to the term, "Black English," so they could have a better understanding

of what it is, but it's offensive to me. I think that this essay is just another entity to put us back as a culture. I do not understand why the actions of African-Americans today become National issues. I have a certain animosity towards those who believe in creating excuses to justify human behavior. This is a universal matter that can not and should not be divided into social or racial classes. I am truly disgusted by the whole idea of, "Black English," and I hope that this ignorance will cease and the new century will give birth to open minds.


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