In his article, James Baldwin asserts that Black English is a significant component of the community as well as culture and therefore it has evolved on the basis of the real-life experiences encountered in America (Baldwin 88). Baldwin, therefore, comes up with this concept by utilizing his own personal experience at the same time incorporating other languages’ background. This James Baldwin writing was written so as to reveal the effect that African American culture has made on English language and also to divert the standpoint of readers to view language from a new perspective. The target audiences of Baldwin’s essay are the Americans who lack the understanding of Black English concept. This paper will therefore respond to James Balwin’s essay.
Literally, I agree with James Baldwin due to the fact that the American society perceives that language is something that they make and not anything else. Various regions have been rendered to turn into things that the political leaders choose to make it rather than permitting cultures their right to evolving according to how they find it best. Baldwin asserted that at the moment he does not know whatever white American can sound like supposing the black people had never existed in the United States, though he is certain that the Americans would not be sounding like the way the sound at the moment (Baldwin 88). According to me, I do not agree with this statement. Actually, Baldwin has used the example of Jazz in his argument whereby there are several terms and vocabularies in which Americans adopted from Black English then converted it to be their own. If it were not for the life experiences in which the blacks underwent then there would have been nothing to be stolen from and only God is privy of how the language would sound like suppose there was nothing to be copied from.
Baldwin utilizes a number of examples from across the world to facilitate the demonstration of the social impact caused upon the duty of language. Specifically, Baldwin efficiently supports his point by giving in-depth facts such as that language is evolved by people so as to define and also control their situations (Baldwin 89). This, therefore, makes us understand that suppose French is the core language, there would be several sub-groups. He further claims that a man in Paris is capable of speaking a totally different language more as compared to a man in Marseilles due to the differing realities they have to control or coherent. “The ultimate price for accepting this and attainment of an individual’s temporal identity” (Baldwin 90). In this instance, Baldwin means that an individual’s language is a component of their identity. Baldwin tells us more regarding the conflict that exists between Welsh and Basque as the cause of these conflict being the motivation to preserve and retain their own exclusive language by preventing it from getting destroyed.
Although it may be a sub-category language, people will always strive to preserve their language since it plays a significant role in that connects the language with their individual personality. He further refers language to being a political instrument as being a means and indication of power (Baldwin 91). With regards to this, Baldwin literally asserts that other people can determine our identity through the language that we are speaking. The ability to speak a certain language could tell other people that they come from one hometown. I also agree with Baldwin’s explanation that the quantity of knowledge that other people can acquire just by speaking a particular language, can be a lot.
In essence, I agree with Baldwin that language has significantly evolved to be more than a form of communication. The language now includes livelihood, culture among other factors contributing to our livelihood. Therefore, reflecting upon how I view my language in comparison to other languages, I agree more with Baldwin’s standpoint.