Complete Story

BACON,Jacqueline and MCCLISH, Glen

Winter 2006, pages 1 - 29

Descendents of Africa, Sons of '76: Exploring Early African-American Rhetoric

African-American rhetoric of the early Republic has been largely unexplored by rhetorical scholars. Addressing this gap in the scholarship, this study analyzes two intricately related forms of discourse: late eighteenth-century petitions and speeches celebrating the 1808 abolition of the international slave trade to the United States. Both sets of texts contribute to the expression of an African-American public voice, build upon and critique American ideals while retaining a proud sense of African heritage, exploit the available generic conventions, develop increasingly radical appeals, and feature arguments that transcend local issues to engage general questions of identity and history.

Read the Rhetoric Society Quarterly Get information about our conferences Get information about our institutes Learn about becoming a member Access members-only content