This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Analysis Of Bill Cosby’s “The Pound Cake Speech”

1562 words - 7 pages

During the 2004 NAACP awards ceremony at Washington, D.C., in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the landmark case Brown vs. Board of Education , Bill Cosby delivers a speech, which would be subsequently referred to as “The Pound Cake Speech, criticizing the lifestyle and lack of parenting in the African–American community. The speech has been severely criticized for it is delivery and topics expressed within it. Author Jerome Corsi notes, "Cosby was attacked both for his flippant tone and because his argument appeared to 'blame the victim' for the racial inequality and racial injustice suffered." The purpose of this essay is to examine why the use of comedy, partitioning of listeners, and scapegoating of African-American parents, as the sole cause of African-American social problems, lead to the poor reception of Cosby's speech.
Although Cosby has had a university education and received many honorary degrees, which few achieve, nonetheless, he is associated more as a successful entertainer than a scholarly educator. Interestingly, Cosby has self-described himself more of a class clown than an academician during schooling. Cosby started his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian doing performances across America during his younger years. Comedians have a notorious talent for stirring up crowds and encouraging clamor from the audience. They compose jokes that anyone can relate to and, thus, reach broad demographics during their performances. The talent has remained with Cosby to present and is manifested within the tone of his speeches as well.
Throughout Cosby’s speech there is a comedy element hidden in a tragedy element. When Cosby discusses the blame on Caucasians in African American communities, he jokes, “... 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,” and implies a negative view on African Americans by exercising comedic timing. One can clearly infer that Cosby’s purpose in his speech was two-fold. He wanted to express his views openly and to lampoon his listeners simultaneously by using comedy. In a journal study on comedian personalities, psychoanalyst SS Janus comments, "Among the oppressed, the role of social critic has been the comedian's forte." Cosby is simply accepting this role inherently when delivering his diatribe. However, the element of comedy diminishes the seriousness of his arguments. Listeners are left in the confusion of deciding whether to enjoy a laugh or analyze the underlying argument presented. Cosby's gains the audience's applause but not their awareness. Furthermore, opposed to a comedian's interest in reaching a broad audience, Cosby divides his attention to a narrow audience during his speech.
Cosby paradoxically attempts to integrate his listeners by discouragingly separating them into cohorts through audience segmentation. Admittedly, applauders of Cosby's speech would argue that he wanted to...

Find Another Essay On Analysis of Bill Cosby’s “The Pound Cake Speech”

Analysis of the Emancipation Proclamation Speech

1643 words - 7 pages The "Emancipation Proclamation" speech was actually intended for most of the people that would free the slaves, not to the slaves. According to Rollyson the proclamation was not intended for the slave, blacks, or former slaves. The “Emancipation Proclamation” speech was during the Antislavery Movement or what some people call it the Abolitionist Movement, during the 1960's. The main leaders of the abolitionist movement were Abraham Lincoln and

The Bill of Rights Essay

788 words - 3 pages The Bill of Rights is the essence of American freedoms, and is what makes the United States original among the other nations and governments of the world (Bradley, 2004). The first Amendment gives us several freedoms, including the freedom of speech, so in this paper I will take a closer look at the freedom of speech in the first amendment.The Bill Of RightsBefore we go to the freedom of speech, lets take a quick look at where and when it

The Bill of Rights

780 words - 4 pages The Bill of Rights is the name that we give to the first ten amendments to our Constitution. These first ten amendments were necessary to get the holdover states in the Union to ratify the Constitution. This piece of legislation is what gave us our most important individual rights such as freedom of speech and religion. It was not an easy road however and there was fierce debate from both sides about whether it should be included or not. In this

The Bill of Rights

1627 words - 7 pages collectively were called The Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights protected the freedoms of assembly, speech, religion, the press, and to petition the government to address grievances; the right to bear arms, guaranteed speedy trial, prohibition of illegal search and seizure, and no quartering of troops in private homes without the owner’s consent. Other amendments dealt with legal procedures (152). When The Bill of Rights was written the abuses that the

The Bill of Rights

1787 words - 8 pages From the time it was first proposed in 1789, the Bill of Rights was controversial. The founding fathers had already considered adding a Bill of Rights in the original 1787 Constitution, mainly because they knew the people feared a powerful central government and formally stating their rights in this new document would appease them. They did not add it, however, thinking it was not really necessary. Each state had their own version of a Bill

The Bill of Rights

1354 words - 5 pages Bill of Rights We live in the 21st century, where most Americans mind their own business but take for granted our God given rights. Not only God given rights but also those established by our founding forefathers. This paper will illustrate and depict the importance of the original problems faced when adopting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It will discuss the importance of the first amendment, the due process of the 4th, 5th, 6th

The Bill of Rights - 1663 words

1663 words - 7 pages individual rights in the Constitution, however the Federalists felt if there were enumerated ones, then the non-enumerated would be broken. In 1789, Madison introduced twelve amendments to the constitution, ten of these would later become the Bill of Rights (Whitehouse.gov). The Bill of Rights protects peoples’ civil rights, and liberties. The First Amendment, did so by limiting Congress, it is known to give the “Freedom of Speech”, and the “Freedom of

The Bill of Rights - 1509 words

1509 words - 6 pages receive a jury the Court has set up certain guidelines that give them that right. For instance, the law suits have to have legal issues that are similar to other cases that involved a federal jury granted by common law. Furthermore Harr, Hess, & Orthmann (2012), describe a “federal jury trail is based mainly on historical analysis of common law” (427). Ninth Amendment This amendment was put into the Bill of Rights because it gave people more rights

The Bill Of Rights

4028 words - 16 pages informationthat may be surprising to people who have not yet been concerned: The amount of the Billof Rights that is under attack is alarming.Let's take a look at the Bill of Rights and see which aspects are being pushed on orthreatened. The point here is not the degree of each attack or its rightness or wrongness,but the sheer number of rights that are under attack.Amendment ICongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or

The Bill of Rights

3665 words - 15 pages “The founders who crafted our Constitution and Bill of Rights were careful to draft a constitution of limited powers- one that would protect Americans’ liberties at all times”. Al Franken was a strong believer in a powerful government that at the same time protects the citizens natural rights. However, some citizens have decided to test the law, thus creating a variety of new precedents. The Constitution is a body of work that sets

Analysis of Othello's Speech

1153 words - 5 pages gone through. Like many women, Desdemona fell in love with dangers and thrill of the chase. It seems like most of us women love the adventures of seeking what we know is wrong. This passage is a soliloquy or speech from Othello to Desdemona’s father. He is telling how she has become his wife. Othello plea’s with Desdemona’s father for his blessing and to be a family. Othello states that her father has treated him well for many years and should

Similar Essays

The History Of Cake Essay

1509 words - 6 pages The cake we know today is not the same as it was in the 17th Century. As the year’s progressed bakers and chefs alike began changing the way a cake was made. The recipe of a simple vanilla cake became in essence the building block for the other types of cakes. The basic cake recipe is like the trunk and roots of a tree while the other flavors and types of cake are the branches and the leaves. Changes have not only been made to the recipe of a

Analysis Of The Brady Bill

3942 words - 16 pages Analysis of The Brady Bill Introduction      The legislative process in the United States Congress shows us an interesting drama in which a bill becomes a law through compromises made by diverse and sometimes conflicting interests in this country. There have been many controversial bills passed by Congress, but among all, I have taken a particular interest in the passage of the Brady bill. When the Brady debate was in full swing in

Analysis Of "The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter," By Ezra Pound

1173 words - 5 pages Bootie Call at Cho-fu-Sa"The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter," by Ezra Pound is not only a letter from a woman to her husband, but is also a narrative of a young woman's sex life. It tells of a river merchant's wife's feelings on sex throughout her life and marriage. It also shows how her views change with time and circumstances. The poem starts with her early childhood, and then goes quickly into marriage, and ends when her husband has to go

The Character: The God Of Cake

690 words - 3 pages The Character: The God of Cake Have you ever read a story where you feel like you are the main character? Recently, I had a chance to read one interesting web comic called the God of Cake, written by Allie Brosh. The plot is basically about one girl who loves to eat cake and willing to do anything for only a piece of cake. The God of Cake describes the writer’s childhood experience, as well as, reminds me of myself. This leads to the