Rhetorical Analysis

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Mikea Cooper
Ms. Christian
ENGL111-801
February 25, 2013

Rhetorical Analysis

The Pound Cake speech by Bill Cosby a well-known actor, comedian, and Philanthropist delivered a controversial speech called The Pound Cake Speech which was presented on May 17, 2004 at the NAACP Gala at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. In this speech, Cosby was highly critical to members and divisions of the African American community in the United States. He criticized the use of African American dialect, the problems with bad parenting and various other social behaviors. Bill Cosby was effective in his speech because he combined a humorous approach with an emotional and logical appeal. In Bill Cosby’s, Pound Cake Speech, he discusses the African American community’s uncertainty towards parenting. Cosby states that we cannot blame people for the way their children turn out. It can only be the parents fault for letting them develop that way. He strongly believes that parents are the blame for their children’s actions in today’s society. He mentions the Brown vs. Board of education, and how the people fought for their children’s education, only for them to complain about learning. Bill Cosby criticized the African American race in his speech. His reason for this was to make his audience angry. He speaks on the 50% high school dropout rate for blacks and how he believes it is a major problem, also how people call on God for help but they are not doing their parts, the frequency of single mothers, and other social behaviors with today’s youth. However, throughout the whole speech it all lead up to parents not providing good parenting skills. Cosby’s audience was mainly black folks so he knew how to keep their attention by appealing to their emotions. His speech was effective because he combined the pathos and logical appeal, which kept his audience engaged and interested in his speech.
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