While reading Gates, I kept seeing reminders of Burke throughout, especially with the examples of how white people back in the 1700's and from other European cultures didn't believe that black people could write properly. On page 3 Gates gives an example of how a young black girl, Phillis, was a famous poet and had to be orally examined by 18 orators and men of educated standing in order to give authenticity that she was the one who wrote the literature. This example seemed relatable to Burke's theory that each culture has their own filter because when white people read the material, they couldn't believe that a black girl had actually written poetry.
Later on, on page 12 Gates writes, "...the text of Western letters, in a voice that speaks English through an idiom which contains the incredulous elements of cultural difference that will always separate the white voice from the black." There is certainly a gap in perception of language and the meaning that each word has depending on the background of a person and what meanings those words have for a person. But if there really is such an emphasis on differences due to race, is it still notable today? Was it obvious Gates was black without him using the 'us' blacks reference? I tied these examples and quotes together because I want to see if his argument has validity. In the example mentioned above, Europeans and white people couldn't believe that a black young girl had written the poetry and were able to understand and enjoy it, so obviously they didn't notice a race gap. However, once people became aware that black writers were becoming popular, they began noticing the differences in language and tonality. So, what is the main factor in placing these filters? Is it the knowledge of an 'other' writing the content, or is it in the language itself?