Origins of the African American Jeremiad
The Rhetorical Strategies of Social Protest and Activism, 1760–1861
About the Book
In the moralistic texts of jeremiadic discourse, authors lament the condition of society, utilizing prophecy as a means of predicting its demise. This study delves beneath the socio-religious and cultural exterior of the American jeremiadic tradition to unveil the complexities of African American jeremiadic rhetoric in antebellum America. It examines the development of the tradition in response to slavery, explores its contributions to the antebellum social protest writings of African Americans, and evaluates the role of the jeremiad in the growth of an African American literary genre. Despite its situation within an unreceptive environment, the African American jeremiad maintained its power, continuing to influence contemporary African American literary and cultural traditions.
About the Author(s)
Willie J. Harrell, Jr., is an associate professor of English at Kent State University.
Willie J. Harrell, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
Table of Contents
Introduction: Mapping the African American Jeremiad 5
1. The Great Tradition of Black Protest: Characteristics of the African American Jeremiad 13
2. Early Development 36
3. The African American Jeremiad, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence 60
4. Black Nationalism in the Early Republic 73
5. Black Women Jeremiahs 93
6. The Age of Abolitionism 115
7. The Transatlantic African American Jeremiad 160
8. The Black Canadian Jeremiad 177
Conclusion: The Great Tradition of Black Protest Continues 196
Chapter Notes 199
Works Cited 207