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Pound Cake Speech. Bill Cosby. Background. Bill Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 as William Henry Cosby. He dropped out of high school to join the Navy, and also dropped out of college to be a comedian. Bill Cosby is an actor, author, comedian, and activist

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Presentation Transcript
  • Bill Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 as William Henry Cosby.
  • He dropped out of high school to join the Navy, and also dropped out of college to be a comedian.
  • Bill Cosby is an actor, author, comedian, and activist
  • He’s married to Camille O. Cosby and has four daughters. (Erika, Erin, Evin, and Ensa). He also had a son (Ennis) who was murdered, and has taken a more conscious tone on society since.
  • This speech was given in May 2004 during the NAACP awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
  • This speech criticizes and emphasizes a lot on family values
bill cosby giving speech
Bill Cosby Giving Speech
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gh3_e3mDQ8
soapstone analysis
SOAPSTone Analysis
  • Subject – education and black community culture
  • Occasion – the NAACP awards ceremony in Washington D.C., to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education Court decision.
  • Audience – the speech is to the American public, but is mainly targeted toward the African American population.
soapstone analysis1
SOAPSTone Analysis
  • Purpose – to criticize modern African American culture and its flaws. He uses real life examples and humor to gain support from his audience, and tries to get people to live up to the civil rights activist of the past.
  • Speaker – Bill Cosby, actor, author, and comedian.
  • Tone – ironic, sarcastic, serious, humorous, and criticizing.
  • “The church is only open on Sunday. And you can’t keep asking Jesus to ask doing things for you. You can’t keep asking that God will find a way. God is tired of you. God was there when they won all those cases -- fifty in a row. That’s where God was because these people were doing something. And God said, “I’m going to find a way.” I wasn’t there when God said it -- I’m making this up. But it sounds like what God would do.”
  • Bill Cosby was saying that we have to act ourselves, and not rely completely on God and the church to take care of our lives. God will help, but he will not do everything for you.
  • “We cannot blame white people. White people -- White people don’t live over there. They close up the shop early. The Korean ones still don’t know us as well -- they stay open 24 hours.”
  • He was saying that the black community, or more so the parents of the black community, have no one to blame but themselves.
  • “Brown vs. Board of Education, these people who marched and were hit in the face with rocks and punched in the face to get an education and we got these knuckleheads walking around who don’t want to learn English.’’
  • In this part of Bill Cosby’s speech, he refers to how many people are determined to learn and be educated, while most black children don’t even care to learn proper English.
  • “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.”
  • “I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two?... And how come you don’t know he had a pistol? … And then they stand there in an orange suit and you drop to your knees. “He didn’t do anything.” Yes he did do it. And you need to have an orange suit on too.”
  • “ Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them.”
  • Bill Cosby is using real examples, like kids sagging or using guns, to show how out of control they are. He also states that the parents are just as guilty as the children for not parenting them correctly, and so they show no love for any of their elders.
  • “Fifty percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse?  And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid -- $500 sneakers -- for what?”
  • Bill Cosby uses statistics, and examples of how women are having children with unknown men and are spoiling those children.
major premise
Major Premise
  • The major premise in this is that the community, especially the black community in Bill Cosby’s point of view, must be improved
  • He feels that the black community must be improved due to use of improper English, bad parenting, lack of responsibility, and crime issues
  • In the speech, Bill Cosby is saying that many people of the black community should stop blaming discrimination, segregation, and the government for high unemployment rates and the racial success gap. They only have themselves to blame.
rhetorical devices repetition
Rhetorical Devices – Repetition
  • Ladies and gentlemen, I really have to ask you to seriously consider what you’ve heard, and now this is the end of the evening so to speak. I heard a prize fight manager say to his fellow who was losing badly, “David, listen to me. It’s not what’s he’s doing to you. It’s what you’re not doing."
  • Ladies and gentlemen, these people set -- they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have 50% drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband. No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic and lower middle economic people are not holding their end in this deal.
  • Bill Cosby uses the words, “Ladies and gentleman” in several parts of his speech
powerful lines
Powerful Lines
  • “I’m telling you Christians, what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you hit the streets? Why can’t you clean it out yourselves? It’s our time now, ladies and gentlemen. It is our time. And I’ve got good news for you. It’s not about money. It’s about you doing something ordinarily that we do -- get in somebody else’s business. It’s time for you to not accept the language that these people are speaking, which will take them nowhere. What the hell good is Brown v. Board of Education if nobody wants it?”
  • I think this is one of the best lines in the speech. I agree with his statement, “…Christians, what’s wrong with you?”, because some of us as Christians, don’t seem to be doing our job as Christians.