THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN AFRICAN AMERICAN RHETORIC:
NOMMO – creative power of the word
GOALS – concerned not just with influencing or results, but process and values as well.
UNITY OF STYLE AND GOALS IN MAAT – good speech is true speech, with good results. Clever speech leading to bad results is not good speech.
THE SPEAKER – anyone, not just important people. Everyone should be the focus of good rhetoric.
SPIRITUAL AND SECULAR – no strict delineation between them.
FAME GOES WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS – no hate mongers are historically great speakers. Champions of righteousness get that title.
RHETORIC IS INCLUSIVE – speech, writing, poetry, song, drama, everything that communicates.
CLASSICAL KEMETIC CANONS: self control, timing, restraint, fluency, truthfulness.
VALUES: dignity and rights of the human person, well-being and flourishing of the community, integrity and value of the environment, reciprocal solidarity and cooperation of humanity.
RHETORIC IS AN ART: but is a part of everyday living.
ORAL RHETORIC IS: immediate and direct relationship, speaker and audience are one, common and everyday, spontaneous, improvised for purpose and situation, respects individuality within the group.
CHARACTERISTICS: indirect, language play, read between the lines, rhythm of speech, stylin’, lyrical use of language, improvisation, call and response, reliance on mythoforms, repetition, narrative style, rappin’/conversational style,
AFROCENTRIC WORLDVIEW: interconnectedness, collective identity (responsible), results are more important than intent, body-mind-spirit unity, spiritual focus, timing important, changes take time.
OTHER RHETORICAL APPROACHES
DRAMATISM: act, scene, agent, agency, purpose. Find most important 1 or 2 and see how they influence your understanding of the discourse. Kenneth Burke.
FANTASY THEME ANALYSIS: enduring fantasy themes are used to make the rhetoric work. Bormann.
HISTORICAL ANALYSIS: discourse follows a pattern and practice set by history.
MOVEMENT STUDY: rhetoric is part of an identifiable rhetorical movement. Griffin.
ARISTOTELIAN: use Aristotle’s canons to understand how discourse makes and proves arguments.
PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY: the psychological condition of the speaker is the critical element to understand.