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An account of the consequences blacks were faced with based on the texts
The speech ”I am prepared to die” was made by Nelson Mandela on April 20th 1964. In the other text “What is Black Consciousness?” Steve Biko was interrogated at a court hearing from approximately 1970. In these texts, they take heed to “the lives of black Africans”.
In the speech made by Mandela, he clarifies how blacks were faced with castigatory laws. Some of the major consequences, he addresses, are how poverty is prevalent amongst blacks. Even when the blacks toil, they are not allocated a salary that will help them provide aliment and clothes for their families, thus leaving their families, because they have to work.
Another consequence during Apartheid was that the blacks weren’t affluent enough to pay school fees, and the educational standards were immeasurably different from the whites’ standards, which was the purpose, as the Prime Minister stated: “When my Department controls Native education it will know (…) whether he will have a chance in life to use his knowledge”. The whites dread that the blacks will evolve and get apt jobs.
During Apartheid, boys and men had to carry pass books with them. Consequently, many males were incarcerated under pass laws, and deprived of their chances of living a natural family life.
Due to these consequences children get engrossed in criminality, because they are left with no guidance.
To summarise the blacks were deprived of their chances of living an ordinary life, because the suppression restricted them. Blacks associate contentment and positivity with white, but the treatment they encounter is futile and discourteous, as Biko said. Thus forming the basis of self-contempt.
Rhetorical modes used by Nelson Mandela
In his speech “I am prepared to die” Nelson Mandela uses the three forms of appeals: Logos, ethos, and pathos.
The most frequent forms of appeal used by him are logos and ethos. In every statement alleged by him, he includes either statistics or statements aforesaid by other politicians.
For instance the use of logos is palpable at the beginning, where he apprises that poverty is disseminated in the townships. However he went on to emphasise how many percent of the blacks that live in different “levels of poverty”: “Forty per cent live in overcrowded (…) Reserves” and “Thirty per cent are labors (…) work and live under conditions similar to those of the serfs of the Middle Ages”. This gives the listeners a sense of credibility. But this reliability is built up by the other substances he uses during his speech. If he had stopped substantiating his claims, listeners would’ve doubted his intentions to put the whites in a bad light, because he’s a freedom fighter.
When he articulates the different consequences the blacks are facing, he has some sort of justification that will evoke thoughts in the readers. E.g. he claims that the quality of education is not the same as the whites’ schooling, which he provides supporting evidence for by pointing out how many blacks that passed their Junior Certificate in 1962 and matric. He then underpins his substance by quoting what the Prime Minister once said. But the statement the Prime Minister had made creates sympathy for the blacks, because he said: “Natives will be taught from childhood to realize that equality with Europeans is not for them”. The listeners will ruminate whether the intentions of the government are as righteous as they assert.
The use of pathos is especially prevailing when he accentuates the difficulties in family life that blacks experience due to the legislation. He said: “Pass laws keep husband and wife apart and lead to the breakdown of family life”. Both whites and non-whites can relate to this issue, because family life is prominent, so everyone will be moved by this and not just one race. He also enumerates the blacks’ desires to be integrated into society, which will make the whites feel conscience-stricken. This is also a factor that can build solidarity.
But ethos is mostly perceptible at the end, when Nelson Mandela says: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. (…) But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. This shows that he is willing to sacrifice himself in order to save his people. This will develop sympathy for Mandela, and it is very fervent and gratifying.
In brief, logos and ethos are predominant, because he has a good appreciation of his belief and claims, which makes him a convincing and lucid speaker. Yet he doesn’t overuse ethos, but it is exerted at the right moments. Therefore his speech will be persuading and appealing to the listener’s emotions.
A discussion of the Apartment system’s view on non-whites
In the text “What is Black Consciousness?” Steve Biko elucidates how the whites treated non-whites.
South Africa is a well-developed country with resources that can make the country a better place. Yet the natives are not educated properly and the living and work conditions are ghastly. This shows that the whites don’t accede to non-whites as human beings, but as cheap workers. This also shows that whites believe that non-whites can subsist under dire conditions, because they are pitiable and inconsequential. The reason for this belief is that the whites wouldn’t be able to endure the ghastly work and living conditions in the townships, but since it’s the non-whites that have to dwell in these areas, they are not concerned about the non-whites’ survival/health.
The government also leaves family life out of consideration. They don’t grasp that the non-whites are deprived of their loved ones. This is because the non-whites toil every single day from dawn to dusk, so they barely get to spend time with their families. This again exhibits a lack of commiseration.
They believe that they have the right to boss the non-whites around, and communicate with them in a discourteous way. This is also seen in the text, when the white man claims, that the only “language” blacks know of is “being affronted”. This indicates that the whites perceive the non-whites as “creatures” that don’t belong in South Africa, and therefore they must be exploited, because that is what they merit
We can conclude that the whites didn’t show benevolence, and they treated the blacks in a “sadistic” way, because according to the whites, non-whites should not expect to live an equal life. And non-whites were pledged to obey the whites, if they were residing in South Africa.