The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches

Overview

Drawing upon nearly two hundred years of recorded African American oratory, The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches, edited by Richard W. Leeman and Bernard K. Duffy, brings together in one unique volume some of this tradition?s most noteworthy speeches, each paired with an astute introduction designed to highlight its most significant elements.

Arranged chronologically, from Maria Miller Stewart?s 1832 speech ?Why Sit Ye Here and Die?? to ...

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Overview

Drawing upon nearly two hundred years of recorded African American oratory, The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches, edited by Richard W. Leeman and Bernard K. Duffy, brings together in one unique volume some of this tradition’s most noteworthy speeches, each paired with an astute introduction designed to highlight its most significant elements.

Arranged chronologically, from Maria Miller Stewart’s 1832 speech “Why Sit Ye Here and Die?” to President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural address, these orations are tied to many of the key themes and events of American history, as well as the many issues and developments in American race relations. These themes, events, and issues include the changing roles of women, Native American relations, American “manifest destiny,” abolitionism, the industrial revolution, Jim Crow, lynching, World War I and American self-determination, the rise of the New Deal and government social programs, the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, the Vietnam War, Nixon and Watergate, gay and lesbian rights, immigration, and the rise of a mediated culture. Leeman and Duffy have carefully selected the most eloquent and relevant speeches by African Americans, including those by Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, Mary Church Terrell, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Barbara Jordan, Jesse Jackson, and Marian Wright Edelman, many of which have never received significant scholarly attention.

The Will of a People is the first book to pair the full texts of the most important African American orations with substantial introductory essays intended to guide the reader’s understanding of the speaker, the speech, its rhetorical interpretation, and the historical context in which it occurred. Broadly representative of the African American experience, as well as what it means to be American, this valuable collection will serve as an essential guide to the African American oratory tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The writing is very accessible, easy to understand, yet extremely weighty and substantial. . . . I commend the work that [the authors] did in this book.”New Books in African American Studies

 “Will of a People is an excellent companion to theoretical, methodological, and historical materials for rhetoric and history courses.  In addition to presenting canonical African American oratory under a single cover, it contains solid and engaging textual analyses and promotes the study of eloquent oratory.”Howard Journal of Communication

“Nothing less than the canon of African American eloquence! The speeches in The Will of a People brilliantly articulate the immense moral authority of the freedom struggle. They reveal much about America’s changing conceptions of hierarchy, equality, caste and class, and our national obsession with race.”—Andrew King, Hopkins Professor of Communication, Louisiana State University

“Professors Leeman and Duffy have once again brought together a selection of important rhetorical artifacts. This volume will be required reading for all students and scholars of the theory, history, and criticism of public address who are interested in the transformative powers of the spoken word.”—Mark Lawrence McPhail, author of The Rhetoric of Racism Revisited: Reparations or Separation?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809330577
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2012
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 474
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Lecture, Delivered at the Franklin Hall (1832) Maria W. Miller Stewart 10

An Address to the Slaves of the United States of America (1843) Henry Highland Garnet 22

A'n't I a Woman? (1851) Sojourner Truth 38

What to the American Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852) Frederick Douglass 49

I Claim the Rights of a Man (1868) Henry McNeal Turner 83

Oration on the Occasion of the Dedication of the Lincoln Monument (1876) Frederick Douglass 111

Duty to Dependent Races (1891) Frances Ellen Watkins Harper 133

Lynch Law in All Its Phases (1893) Ida B. Wells-Barnett 149

Atlanta Exposition Address (1895) Booker T. Washington 174

What It Means to Be Colored in the Capital of the United States (1906) Mary Church Terrell 188

Disfranchisement (1912) William Edward Burghardt Du Bois 205

The Principles of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (1922) Marcus Mosiah Garvey 221

Rock Foundations (1926) Vernon Johns 240

I Have a Dream (1963) Martin Luther King 254

The Ballot or the Bullet (1964) Malcolm X 268

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), Black Power (1966) 295

A Time to Break Silence (1967) Martin Luther King 320

It Is Time to Reassess Our National Priorities (1969) Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm 346

Speech on Watergate to the House Judiciary Committee (1974) Barbara Charline Jordan 357

Speech to the Democratic National Convention (1984) Jesse Louis Jackson 372

Children's Legislative Issues (1985) Marian Wright Edelman 394

Inaugural Address (2009) Barack Hussein Obama 412

Notes 431

Sources 447

Index 449

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