Bill Cosby- Pound Cake Speech

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  • Topic: Rhetoric, Bill Cosby, Pound Cake speech
  • Pages : 3 (1190 words )
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  • Published : November 30, 2008
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An Emotional Uprising
The Pound Cake Speech was given by Bill Cosby in May 2004, at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In this speech, Cosby was highly critical of some members and subsets of the African American community in the United States. He criticized the use of African American dialect, the prevalence of single-parent families, the emphasis on material gain at the expense of necessities, and various other social behaviors. Bill Cosby was effective in his speech because he combined a humorous approach with an emotional and logical appeal, that kept his audience engaged and interested in his speech. In this speech, Bill Cosby appealed to the pathos or, the emotions, of his audience. His audience was primarily of the African American race, so he knew how to stir them by appealing to their emotions. He rallied the audience’s emotions by blaming them for the poor education of today’s youth. An example of this comes from the eleventh paragraph of the speech: “I can’t even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain’t where you is go, ra.’ I don’t know who these people are. And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. ‘Then I heard the father talk. This is all in the house.’(Cosby Par. 11) He is “calling” out the citizens of the struggling communities that the parents are not doing enough or not caring enough for their child’s education. When Cosby starts criticizing the African American community, he grasps the audience’s attention. This stirs the audience and it directly appeals to their emotions. The most famous passage of this speech is in paragraph nine of the speech: ‘But these people, the ones up here in the balcony fought so hard. Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! And then we all run out and are outraged, 'The...
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