A Rhetorical History of Malcolm X.

A Rhetorical History of Malcolm X.

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This dissertation investigates the connections between rhetoric, history, and subjectivity. Specifically, using rhetorical history, I examine the public address of Malcolm X against period precursors, traditions, and constraints. I begin by analyzing the historical antecedents of the Nation of Islam, connecting the rhetorical practices of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Moorish Science Temple of America to the discourses of the Nation and Malcolm X. In chapter three, I briefly orient the reader to the historical context surrounding Malcolm X's conversion to the Nation of Islam before examining some of the rhetorical devices employed by Malcolm to overcome the constraints imposed upon him by the doctrines of the Nation of Islam. In chapter four, I provide the reader with a brief historical recounting of the mainstream civil rights movement and begin to illustrate how the post-World War II civil rights organizations constructed a notion of qappropriateq civil rights discourse. In part two of chapter four, I explain how that foundation for appropriateness was translated by the mainstream media to frame the Nation of Islam as outside the domain of suitable civil rights discourse. In chapter five, I describe the processes by which Malcolm X learned from his rhetorical and historical antecedents, and analyze his rhetorical practices during the last sixteen months of his life. I recite a chronicle of the Nation of Islam/Malcolm X split, and examine the rhetorical functions of Malcolm's material and discursive break from the Nation, as well as his hajj to Mecca. I argue that Malcolm's rhetorical practices should be best understood as doubly constitutive, positing himself as an appropriate civil rights rhetor and constituting his audiences as internationally aware, Pan-African human rights warriors dedicated to the freedom struggle by a radical flexibility, marked by the slogan, qby any means necessary.q In chapter six, I briefly summarize the work of the previous chapters, offer a direction for future study, and invite rhetorical studies to elevate the study of rhetorical history.... Nation of Islam (NOI) had its ideological and rhetorical antecedents in at least two sets of related historical teachings a€” those ... In this chapter, I will briefly outline the historical background of the Nation of Islam, discussing the career of Marcus Garvey ... Improvement Association and the Moorish Science Temple of America that are eventually modeled and appropriated by the Nation of Islam. ... Lincoln reported, in 1961, that the aquot;older people who do belong to the [Nation of Islam] [.

Title:A Rhetorical History of Malcolm X.
Author:Scott Joseph Varda
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007


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