The society of the USA historically had the segregated system of schools proposed the different educational services for white, black, and Latin children. In the article for the New York Time “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” written by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the situation deals with the problem of educational facilities in the United States of America that create only a picture of equality, while the real case demonstrates the extremely different approaches of schools to teaching. The article explains the problem of segregation that leads to the low progression of black children in the studying process. It also mentions that children have to communicate easily with representatives of all races and never build their social preferences on the skin color or the ability of their parents to pay higher bills. As a result, the publication relates to the issue of teaching Americans how to battle against segregation at schools with the help of the conscious and fair approach to the choice of educational institutions. The article by Hanna-Jones tells the personal story of the author who uses ethos, pathos, and logos in her research of the problem of segregation in the American society through the portrayal of the wrongful situation when only white pupils have access to the better possibilities, the vivid depiction of the journalist’s choice of the school for her daughter, and the reasoning why all children should have a chance for the better future.
The author uses ethos to demonstrate the credibility of her research with the help of building a powerful reputation around her figure by the use of categorical statements and accurate ideas based on reliable information. Hanna-Jones uses ethos in her highly informative material in order to show the reliability of the mentioned thoughts that deal with a relevant problem of American society. The publication is evidenced by the official statistics that mentions the percentage of white children at schools. In such a way, the author portrays the inequality of the distribution of pupils with different skin colors. She also supports the idea that white parents want to create an illusion that schools are equal for black and Latin students too. However, the research depicts the real intentions of these people who still pay attention to the percentage of black pupils who study at the same school with their children. The author establishes validity through the mentioning of the figure popular in the black culture and the statistical data. The article mentions, “Part of what makes those schools desirable to white parents, aside from the academics, is that they have some students of color, but not too many,” and this integration leads to the illusion of racial diversity at educational institutions as a well-known psychologist Kenneth Clark proofs (Hanna-Jones, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City”). The journalist tries to implement the use of ethos as a combination of her own trustworthiness combined with the reputation of other sources. She creates the understanding that her words are objective with the help of the convincing tone of voice in her text. The device works effectively in the context of the author’s argument.
Pathos is used in the article for the creation of sympathy and the emotional engagement in the text through the demonstration of the personal story about the choice of the school for the author’s daughter. The writer establishes validity with the help of the explanation and reference of her emotions experienced in the past while she was a child and used to ride on a yellow bus to school. She focuses on the determination of her memories. At the same time, Hanna-Jones relates to the connection of past and present situations in the USA. She is confident in her words and shares this impression with the reader. The quotation mentions the events that really happened. The author writes, “We showed up in a yellow bus, visitors in someone else’s neighborhood, and were whisked back across the bridge each day as soon as the bell rang,” and the situation is explained as part of the emotional years that were also world-expanding and successful (Hanna-Jones, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City”). In this case, the author shares her experience of education in the desegregated school. Even though the process of studying was difficult, the author reflects it in the text as a positive experience. The writer uses pathos for the demonstration of the emotional part of her life. The quotation works as a good example of pathos because it shares an insight into the life of the author. In such a way, the idea is interpreted as a real fact with the manifestation of personal belief.
Logos is also presented in the publication for the purpose of making a realistic narrative filled with the analytical approach to the social issue. The point of Hanna-Jones lies in the fact that the bad level of education at segregated schools for black and Latin pupils is caused by the lack of skillful teachers and studying materials. The author proves that black children have the same talents and potential but have no ability to improve them. The writer establishes validity through the development of the logical chain between the idea that black schools have a lower quality of education and the fact that the absence of the needed investments is a crucial reason for this issue. The article mentions, “Schools with large numbers of black and Latino kids are less likely to have experienced teachers, advanced courses, instructional materials, and adequate facilities, according to the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights,” and as a result, the segregation is based on the class characteristics too (Hanna-Jones, “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City”). The author uses logos by generating a strategy of logical reasoning. She sounds like an expert in her words but also makes the logic of the narrative understandable for the reader. The device works good in this case because Hanna-Jones uses deductive reasoning that creates a direct connection between her ideas. The reader can easily notice this relation and share the opinion of the author.
All in all, the research by Hanna-Jones uses ethos, pathos, and logos to prove that the segregation in the American educational system should be liquidated. She uses her authority as a journalist, the ideas of well-known figures, statistics, the emotional personal story of her daughter, and the logical reasoning to prove her position. The rhetorical analysis of the article demonstrates that Hanna-Jones demonstrates deep awareness and effective knowledge of the structures needed for a convincing argument. The author of the article confirms that society in New York City suffers from racial segregation and depicts how this problem is presented in modern schools where children do not have the ability to be equally treated and receive education of the highest quality. As a result, the journalist utilizes the knowledge of ethos, pathos, and logos for the logical and gradual explanation of her opinion based on the statistic facts and ideas of well-known scientists and sociologists. The author convinces readers that black and Latin children will have more opportunities for mental growth if they are provided with the skillful professors, materials, and the friendly studying environment without segregation.
- Hannah-Jones, Nikole. “Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City.” New York Times, 14 May 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/magazine/choosing-a-school-for-my-daughter-in-a-segregated-city.html.