James Baldwin Essay

Topics: Context-free grammar, Judgment, Lil Wayne Pages: 2 (627 words) Published: March 6, 2015
James Baldwin
“Is language really a key to identity or social acceptance?” We are judged by what wear, who we associate with and most importantly, how we speak. Someone who is wearing dirty clothing and does not smell the best would automatically labeled as “poor” or “disgusting”. Almost everyone has judged somebody based on appearance or intellect so society makes it seem normal to us, though it is wrong. I defend James Baldwin's claim that language is the key to identity and social acceptance because I live in a world of judgement and language is necessary to communicate. In 1979, the speaker, James Baldwin presented his allegation that language is the key to identity. Today I am living in a world of judgement. Though, I am not a “thug”, a “gangster,” if I hang out with those types of people, or dress similar to them then that's would I would be labeled as. Take for example Trayvon Martin. He was no gangster, just an average respectable seventeen year old black male who was falsely profiled. From personal experiences, I am a victim of judging others based on their language. People demonstrate this same technique of “profiling” when it comes to language. People who use constant slang, speak incorrectly, and use profanity I look at as “uneducated” or “unprofessional”, defending Baldwin's claim that language is the key to identity and social acceptance. It is a shame that in the black community, speaking properly is looked down on. My sister speaks professionally but it is often referred to as “speaking white” What does this mean? Why when an African American woman is speaking with eloquence and respect she is labeled as speaking white and not speaking with proper grammar. Why can it not be professional? Again it's judgement based on language. While some may disagree that language is the key to identity and social acceptance by saying that one can learn to speak gramatically correct, people revert back to their old ways when they become frustrated or upset....
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