Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-9

Contents

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pp. 10-11

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-15

First, I have been blessed with a loving, supportive family for whom I am constantly thankful—John, Enid, Malcolm, Youlanda, Monica, Chandler Elise, and an amazing host of others. I also appreciate colleagues who suggested sites of rhetorical education and pointed me in the right direction. I benefited greatly from the advice of two persistent anonymous reviewers. There are few services to ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

For centuries, curious observers have asked black speakers and writers, “Where did you learn to use the English language so effectively?” Determined to answer this question, eighteen of Boston’s leading citizens put Phillis Wheatley through an extensive oral examination and pronounced her, even though “brought an uncultivated Barbarian from Africa,” sufficiently “qualified to write” her 1773 Poems on Various Subjects.1 The resulting papers of ...

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1. Free-Floating Literacy

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pp. 10-28

In considering the ways in which the first African Americans acquired various forms of rhetorical education, we must remember that this obtained literacy was a literacy in the English language. While this might seem to be an obvious point, I state it here to distinguish lack of literacy in a particular language from lack of intelligence, a distinction often lost in much of the discourse regarding ...

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2. Private Learners

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pp. 29-57

This chapter considers more closely the private learner, a term used in the nineteenth century to describe the individual who engaged in some form of self-education. Nan Johnson observes that this learner was more visible in the late nineteenth century, when rhetorical ability became as much a personal asset as an essential tool of civic activism. During this period, interest in ...

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3. Mental Feasts

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pp. 58-95

African Americans created societies for self-improvement, general racial uplift, and mutual aid as early as 1780, when the African Union Society was organized in Newport, Rhode Island.1 Black educational societies developed subsequently with expanded goals and were variously called literary, educational, reading-room, or debating societies and lyceums.2 Their development ...

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4. Organs of Propaganda

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pp. 96-134

The first half of the nineteenth century in America has been characterized as “oratorical,” in that the ideals of responsible citizenship were conveyed largely through the public speaker. The medium of print was employed in part to reproduce and comment on the oral performance. Gregory Clark and S. Michael Halloran observe that “the orator had a central cultural role: to ...

Notes

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pp. 137-160

Bibliography

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pp. 161-171

Index

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pp. 173-181

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Author Bio

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pp. 197-197

Shirley Wilson Logan is a professor of English at the University of Maryland, where she teaches courses in the history and practice of rhetoric and composition with an emphasis on nineteenth-century African American texts. Her publications include With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women (1995), “We Are Coming”: The Persuasive ...

Back Cover

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pp. 198-198