Bill Cosby- Pound Cake Speech
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
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8) Using facts and statistics is a great way to get your point across. In this paragraph Bill Cosby does just that. He uses rousing statistics that gets his audience thinking about the major issues of today’s education. He knows that his audience is curious about what he has to say about the problems with today’s African American communities. Appealing to the audiences sense of logic is a very effective way to get them interested in what one is speaking about.
In this speech, Bill Cosby uses many different and extremely effective schemes and tropes. Bill Cosby uses rhetorical questions to get his audience engaged. There are multiple examples of rhetorical questions in his speech such as this. He uses multiple rhetorical questions in a row in the tenth paragraph; “Ladies and gentlemen, listen to these people. They are showing you what’s wrong. People putting their clothes on backwards. Isn’t that a sign of something going on wrong? Are you not paying attention? People with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack. Isn’t that a sign of something? Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn’t it a sign of something when she’s got her dress all the way up to the crack -- and got all kinds of needles and things going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from?”(Cosby Par. 10) All of these rhetorical questions do an excellent job of engaging the audience to listen to what Bill Cosby has to say. It forces them