Methodologies: “uses trends and practices in rhetorical criticism, discourse analysis, ethnographic analysis” and autobiography to argue for recognition of a long history of AA women rhetoricians for social justice and social action (283).
African American elite (well-respected) women used literacy “systematically as a variabl tool” to fight for social justice (5).
Site: AA women essayists and orators who have overcome obstacles, reconstituted themselves and left traces of stream (4) . these women as foremothers to alice walker and bell hooks were committed and had deep level of rhetorical prowress. These women used oral strategies from classical rhetoric in their written essays. They used their understanding of rhetorical triad of context, ethos formation, and rhetorical triangle. Royster examines African cultural traditions used in women’s rhetorics which lead to community action. Example: alice walker—In search of our mother’s garden—use of narrative, storytelling, description, dialougue, poetry, powerful images, to appeal to ethos, pathos, logos.
At end, royster reminds us to articulate our research interests and relationships to the work before writing about any project.—self reflexivity—critical awareness of need to read across cultural difference, figure out one’s subject position affects meaning making of rhetorical object,
Three major sections:
Rhetorical view—describes genre of essay, which reflects discursive flexibility and rhetorical awareness, and its significance to literacy practices and social advocacy in work of elite 19th century women—maria stewart, ana Julia cooper, Josephine st. Pierre ruffin; these women attempted to save lives through work; make sense of their experiences and the world; develop agency and authority to intervene in patriarchial and racist society—literacy and social action linked. –link of literacy and orality create rhetorical competence—the “skill, the process, the practice of ‘reading’ and being articulate about ‘men and nations’” (61). Rhetorical competence uses to as empowerment to take social action. Ex.) situated ethos and invented ethos used for mixed audiences.
Historical view—gives historical account of role of storytelling, religious beliefs, etc. and posits them as intellectually and rhetorically astute intentional reactions to poltical and social exigencies. Also maps how these female rhetors educated themselves and postioned themselves in workplace to develop rhetorical prowress. Black women’s club movement for instance was integral…as were national association of colored women, spelman and Oberlin colleges, African American periodicals.
Ideological view—role of self-reflexivity in research and scholarship