“A New Day is on the Horizon!”

The speech I vhose to analyze is Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award at the golden globes. In this speech, she gives a textbook lesson on the art of kairos by addressing the #MeToo and Time’s Up Movements, the political atmosphere, the death of Recy Taylor and representation in the media. In her speech, she attempts to inspire and encourage her audience with impactful anecdotes and motivational messages.

The Cecil B. deMille Award is given every year at the Golden Globes by the Hollywood Foreign Press to people who have made “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”. The award itself is not given lightly, it has an ethos of its own. In her speech, Oprah speaks on what it meant to her as a young black girl to watch Sidney Portier become the first black man to accept the Academy Award for Best Actor as well as the Cecil B. deMille Award. Especially as she becomes the first black woman to accept the Cecil B. deMille award. 

Oprah has her own ethos as one of the most famous people on Earth, as well as one of the women who was a pioneer for black women in the entertainment industry. The audience is already hanging on to every word she says. She establishes her ethos even further in her speech by acknowledging that that fact is not lost on her. She speaks about the importance of her watching Sidney Portier win the Oscar and how she hopes the same feeling that gave her transfers to the young black girls who are inspired by her. 

An integral part of her speech is when she begins to establish her pathos by discussing the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movement that started to gain traction in 2017, hitting its stride at the 2018 Golden Globes. Oprah establishes kairos by acknowledging how the press is “under siege” every day in the Trump era of America. She appeals to the audience’s pathos by acknowledging the crowd of women dressed in black, showing solidarity for each other amid increasing cases of sexual assault and abuse in the entertainment industry; however, she then speaks about how women of every class and creed experience sexual assault and abuse at work, at home and even on the street. Oprah tells the story of Recy Taylor, a woman who was beaten and raped in public by armed white men, whose sexual assault case was taken on by the NAACP in the time of Jim Crow. It was smart of Oprah to acknowledge that sexual assault cases are not new, nor are they unique. They have been happening for decades, especially with black women. 

Oprah reaches the end of her speech by thanking and encouraging the women and men in the audience to keep fighting and persevering. As her volume increases, she attempts to inspire the audience with words of the future. As the audience gives her a standing ovation she exclaims, “a new day [of hope and justice] is on the horizon!” Inspiring the audience in the room and at home. 



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