By Associate Professor Elaine B Richardson, Ronald L Jackson II
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Extra resources for African American Rhetoric(s) Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Like most nineteenth-century Black women speakers, Harper believed that race, class, and gender constructions had to be taken into account in any deliberations about woman’s rights and that arguments in support of those rights needed to be tempered in the purple heat of racial oppression. Although Harper did not identify herself as a womanist, the attribution is not anachronistic. Nineteenth-century Black women speakers like Harper were womanist foremothers, in much the same way, perhaps, that in Jacqueline Bryant’s essay in this collection Aunt Nancy and Aunt Marthy served as Harriet Jacobs’s liberatory foremothers.
Church: “Seldom have we heard a more cogent, forcible, and eloquent lecture upon any subject, especially from a woman. ; italics added). Although revealing low expectations for women speakers, this response, unlike many others, does speak to the logic of Harper’s arguments rather than to her physical appearance or delivery. 28 Shirley Wilson Logan Reprinted reports on Harper’s rhetorical performances at various abolitionist gatherings all provide further evidence of focused attention to aspects of sex, gender roles, and race: Miss W.
It is precisely the power of the word in today’s black society that authentically speaks of an African past. Thus, to omit Introduction 13 black rhetoric as manifest in speeches and songs from any investigation of black history is to ignore the essential ingredient in the making of black drama. (1972, p. 2) The concern with African influences would become a more prominent component of Smith’s evolving rhetorical theory. ” As the title suggests, he begins to rely more heavily on Afrocentric concepts of rhetoric, posing Nommo, for example, as opposite Western persuasive technique: The public discourse convinces not through attention to logical substance but through the power to fascinate.