Black English Essay example

739 Words Apr 22nd, 2006 3 Pages
"Black English" Another Way to Classify Humans

"To open your mouth … You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and alas, your future ". After reading the two essays, "From Outside, In" by Barbara Mellix and "If Black English Isn't a Language Then Tell Me, What Is?" by James Balwin, I came to realize a few things one of them being that the way we speak, is a means of identifying somebody's culture and background. Much in how a license can tell a person your name, age, were you live etc. a person can tell your race, what kind of education you have and were you are going in life just by hearing you talk.

When slavery began, a time in human history that I assume many people would rather
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She would never make me feel "shame" or any less because I was being myself. It must have been hard on Mellix to be told that your language and the language of your forefathers was not "proper" by you own mother.

I believe that learning a language is fine for the right reasons. Expanding your knowledge or going to a different country, these are both legitimate reasons to learn a language. Learning a language because you will be ridiculed is not a proper reason. As Fanon stated in Mellix's essay to speak is, "…above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization2". So what Fanon suggest is that when you take on a language it is to become part of the culture almost to change your identity, and I agree with that. I find when I meet somebody who can speak multiple languages I look at them with more respect than I would if they only spoke one. Not to say I would look down on a person who only speaks one language, I just find it admirable for somebody who would take the time to learn a new language.

Throughout this essay you may have noticed quotations around the terms "black English" and "standard English". This is because I find it ridiculous to split English into two categories. When an Australian speaks and we find it hard to understand them we don't call it "aussie English", or when a person from England comes and we find their English hard to understand we don't call there language "brit English". You see…