Don 'T Cash Crop On My Cornrows' By Amandlla Stenberg

Superior Essays
Rhetorical Analysis of “Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows”
Amandla Stenberg utilizes the internet, Youtube, to educate a global audience on cultural appropriation and black and hip-hop culture. Stenberg defines cultural appropriation as the moment when an a outside person completely disregards another culture’s history and allows their actions to lead to racial generalization and stereotyping of the culture the aspects originated from; thus allowing the appropriator to be addressed as trendy (Stenberg). Her “Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows” youtube video was specifically intended for her teacher and classmates but because Stenberg made the video public her audience also includes those who appropriate culture, the black community who is having their
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Her appeal to ethos is carried, a majority, by the fact that she is a well known actress, who played the part of Rue in The Hunger Games movie. Although she is a well known actress, Stenberg does not directly address her stardom in the video. By not directly addressing her fame she avoids eliminates unnecessary distractions and is able place the audience’s full focus on her argument in regards to cultural appropriation. Stenberg, being ethnically African American and Danish, speaks on issues that relate to and effect the black community (“Biography.”). Stenberg says “these are styles of music which African American communities created in order to affirm our identities and our voices” and “It’s just a part of our identity; braids, blocks, twists, and corn rows, et cetera” (Stenberg). When addressing the audience she incorporates inclusive phases like “our”. She is able to relate to the offenses carried by the black community when their culture is appropriated but she is also able to visualize what is it to properly appreciate a culture from the non-black perspective. Stenberg uses her understanding and the history of black culture to appeal to pathos and evoke emotion from those in her audience that may be of African American …show more content…
She identifies and describes the significance hair and language carry for black and hip-hop culture. She then briefly speaks against police brutality and identifies that a characterizing factor of appropriators is their failure to speak out on the issues, like police brutality, that are tied to the black identity, that they desire (Stenberg). Stenberg emotionally captures her black audience and even some of her non-black audience by bringing up police brutality, the excessive and unnecessary use of force by officers on civilians (“What Is Police Brutality?”). She states that black and hip-hop culture became popular amongst non-African Americans during the same time period that police brutality gained media attention as a prominent issue (Stenberg). She incorporates police brutality as a way to evoke numerous emotional responses from her audience. African Americans will most likely be outraged, some will be hurt and sad and non-African Americans may have feelings of embarrassment or outrage. Instituting these emotions will garner the audience 's attention and hopefully persuade them to continue listening to Stenberg’s argument. She also utilities police brutality, as an example of a current black community issue, which is an effective way to appeal to pathos because police brutality is ongoing; it is an emotional burden for many of those within and beyond the black

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