Roots of Black rhetoric : African Methodist Episcopal Zion's pioneering preacher-politicians

dc.contributor.advisorFerreira-Buckley, Linda, 1959-en
dc.contributor.advisorBrooks, Joanna, 1971-en
dc.creatorMinifee, Paul André, 1973-en
dc.description.abstractIn his seminal work The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B DuBois aptly states, "The Preacher is the most unique personality developed by the Negro on American soil." At once a spiritual leader, social-political activist, educator, idealist, and businessman, the antebellum black preacher was the idiosyncratic product of a soil contaminated with racism and sullied with hate. Despite this antagonistic environment, what enabled his ascension to the head of black culture was "a certain adroitness with deep-seated earnestness" and "tact with consummate ability." As shepherd and statesman, the black preacher embodied virtues and talents representative of the potential of his people and set the standards for community investment and civic action. He was the model of character for the race. My dissertation introduces scholars to an overlooked yet monumental institution in African American history, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, as well as two of its pioneering preacher-politicians, Bishop Jermain W. Loguen and Bishop James W. Hood. My study of these nineteenth-century AME Zion preacher-politicians exposes overlooked features of black rhetoric, challenges predominant perceptions of the black preaching tradition, and provides an alternative perspective on how to examine the persuasive appeals of black rhetoricians. Through rhetorical analyses of letters, speeches, and sermons--archival materials from the Schomburg Library and Union Theological Seminary in New York--I show that in addition to employing emotional appeals to draw the sympathies of whites and allay the lamentations of blacks, these black ministers also effectively wielded logical arguments to demonstrate their capabilities as reasoners in philosophical debates and intellectuals with original thoughts. However, most importantly, these black preachers' ethical appeals in written texts, public sermons and speeches, and actions as model citizens served multiple practical and salutary ends for the uplift of African Americans.en
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subject.lcshLoguen, Jermain Wesleyen
dc.subject.lcshHood, James Wen
dc.subject.lcshAfrican Methodist Episcopal Zion Church--Historyen
dc.subject.lcshAfrican American clergyen
dc.subject.lcshAfrican American politiciansen
dc.titleRoots of Black rhetoric : African Methodist Episcopal Zion's pioneering preacher-politiciansen
dc.title.alternativeAfrican Methodist Episcopal Zion's pioneering preacher-politiciansen
dc.type.genreThesisen University of Texas at Austinen of Philosophyen

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