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African American Rhetoric(s)

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited By Elaine B. Richardson and Ronald L. Jackson II. Foreword by JacquelineJones Royster. Introduction by Keith Gilyard

Publication Year: 2007

African American Rhetoric(s): Interdisciplinary Perspectives is an introduction to fundamental concepts and a systematic integration of historical and contemporary lines of inquiry in the study of African American rhetorics. Edited by Elaine B. Richardson and Ronald L. Jackson II, the volume explores culturally and discursively developed forms of knowledge, communicative practices, and persuasive strategies rooted in freedom struggles by people of African ancestry in America.
 
Outlining African American rhetorics found in literature, historical documents, and popular culture, the collection provides scholars, students, and teachers with innovative approaches for discussing the epistemologies and realities that foster the inclusion of rhetorical discourse in African American studies. In addition to analyzing African American rhetoric, the fourteen contributors project visions for pedagogy in the field and address new areas and renewed avenues of research. The result is an exploration of what parameters can be used to begin a more thorough and useful consideration of African Americans in rhetorical space.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

African American Rhetoric(s) is a collection that responds to the question: What parameters can we use to begin a more thoughtful and useful consideration of African Americans in rhetorical space? Elaine B. Richardson and Ronald L. Jackson II frame their views as “the study of culturally and discursively developed knowledge-forms, ...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xviii

African American Rhetoric(s) is an introduction to fundamental concepts as well as a systematic integration of historical and contemporary lines of inquiry in the study of African American rhetoric(s). African American rhetoric(s) is the name we prefer for the study of culturally and discursively developed knowledge-forms, ...

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Introduction: Aspects of African American Rhetoric as a Field

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pp. 1-18

To encapsulate all the various efforts in the scholarly study of African American rhetoric would be a task virtually as daunting as if the object were to summarize all reportage and analysis of the Black experience overall. Voluminous attention has been devoted to Black discourses ...

Part One: Historicizing and Analyzing African American Rhetoric(s)

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1. Black Speakers, White Representations: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and the Construction of a Public Persona

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pp. 21-36

In Langston Hughes’s short story “The Blues I’m Playing,” Oceola, the main character, ultimately resists the attempts of her patron, Mrs. Ellsworth, to mold her into a classical pianist, choosing instead to play the blues. Her patron never attempted to understand Oceola, her preferred lifestyle, or her mode of creative expression (1934). ...

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2. From Panther to Monster: Representations of Resistance from the Black Power Movement of the 1960s to the Boyz in the Hood and Beyond

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pp. 37-58

Several years ago, while browsing the “African American” section of a local bookstore, I picked up Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member (1994), by Sanyika Shakur, also known as Monster Kody Scott. I had been rereading Blood in My Eye, the last work of incarcerated Black Panther Party associate George Jackson, ...

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3. Rhetoric That Should Have Moved the People: Rethinking the Black Panther Party

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pp. 59-72

As the above epigraph indicates, the Black Panther Party (BPP) had impacts on J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, the search for Black selfhood, and radical politics. The BPP’s rhetoric and politics have essentially been ignored, however, despite the fact that the members’ attire and pro-Black rhetoric inspired thousands of young Black people ...

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4. The Literary Foremother: An Embodiment of the Rhetoric of Freedom

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pp. 73-85

Critics note that early black women writers subvert the familiar stereotypical representations of Black women in various subtle and creative ways. This essay, then, seeks to substantiate the subversion of, particularly, the mammy stereotype as a discursive practice. ...

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5. Ties that Bind: A Comparative Analysis of Zora Neale Hurston’s and Geneva Smitherman’s Work

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pp. 86-108

The general purpose of this essay is to identify the centrality of the work of two early African American women scholars—Zora Neale Hurston and Geneva Smitherman—in the developing study of African American rhetoric (AAR). Widely regarded as pioneers in the African American Vernacular English (AAVE) discourse, ...

Part Two: Visions for Pedagogy of African American Rhetoric

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6. The Multiple Dimensions of Nubian/Egyptian Rhetoric and Its Implications for Contemporary Classroom Instructions

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pp. 111-135

It is imperative to provide a cultural and historical context to help in our accurate understanding of the two expressions from the Nile Valley complex under review. By providing this framework, the rhetorical tradition could be fully understood and appreciated. Before that is done a preface is warranted. ...

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7. Modeling Orality: African American Rhetorical Practices and the Teaching of Writing

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pp. 136-154

English teachers have long been engaged in the search to find effective ways to improve their students’ writing ability. From examining method to curriculum to the students themselves, they have grappled with this lingering pedagogical challenge (Bartholomae, 1987; Smit, 1994; Winterowd, 1994). ...

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8. Coming from the Heart: African American Students, Literacy Stories, and Rhetorical Education

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pp. 155-169

While one of the goals of the study presented here was to make visible vernacular discourse/rhetorical patterns and strategies in students’ texts, the scope of identified strategies and policies is broader. Extending the research tradition interested in exploring vernacular discourses and literacies in relation to school discourses and literacies, ...

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9. The Rhetoric of Democracy: Contracts, Declarations, and Bills of Sales

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pp. 170-186

In Song of Solomon, the relationship of African American discourse in society is exemplified in the evolution of “Not Doctor Street.” The naming of “Not Doctor Street” does not only exhibit a unique facet of African American discourse but how African American discourse, in political confrontations, changes but remains the same ...

Part Three: Visions for Research in African American Rhetoric(s)

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10. Looking Forward to Look Back: Technology Access and Transformation in African American Rhetoric

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pp. 189-203

You won’t find too many engineers in African American rhetoric anthologies, but Tyrone Taborn, as publisher of US Black Engineer: Information Technology is obviously grounded in the tradition. His magazine is billed as “the African American community’s technology magazine,” ...

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11. We Is Who We Was: The African/American Rhetoric of Amistad

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pp. 204-220

In spite of all the hype, or most likely because of it, I had resolved that I wouldn’t see it. Oh, I didn’t doubt that it was just as everyone (including my wife) had described it: monumentally tragic, romantic, historic. Yes, it was all of these, I discovered many months later when I finally gave in and saw it at home on video. ...

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12. From the Harbor to Da Academic Hood: Hush Harbors and an African American Rhetorical Tradition

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pp. 221-241

As a jury weighs the evidence against him in a divorce, John Pearson, the itinerate preacher in Zora Neale Hurston’s Jonah’s Gourd Vine (1934/1990), refuses to call witnesses and refuses to speak in his own behalf. When Hambo inquires about his silence, Jonah’s response illustrates what I will argue is a primary strand ...

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13. “Both Print and Oral” and “Talking about Race”: Transforming Toni Morrison’s Language Issues into Teaching Issues

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pp. 242-258

When Toni Morrison won The Nobel Prize for Literature, she told a Washington Post reporter that one of her interests as a teacher of literature at Princeton University was to enable her students to “talk about race.” While teaching is not an explicit subject matter that Morrison interrogates through her writing, ...

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14. Found Not Founded

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pp. 259-272

The history of African American rhetoric in the Americas is a history of specific African retentions in both syntax and affective form, of transformations resulting in syncretistic language rituals and structures and of “New World” creations. It stands in both a resistant and symbiotic relationship to the dominant discourses with which it is engaged. ...

References

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pp. 273-294

Contributors

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pp. 295-298

Index

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pp. 299-309

Back Cover

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p. 329-329


E-ISBN-13: 9780809387410
E-ISBN-10: 0809387417
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809327454
Print-ISBN-10: 0809387417

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2007

Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth