ERIC Number: ED153250
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
The Rhetoric of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, Renowned Speaker and Journalist.
Cummings, Melbourne S.
Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, a journalist and speaker, headed a back-to-Africa movement in the second half of the nineteenth century that was one of the first black rhetorical movements to meet the challenges of institutionalized racism in the United States. Turner was a preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, becoming first an elder and then a bishop. He edited and published his own newspaper for 20 years and was also elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1868. In these prominent positions, Turner gave fiery speeches calling for blacks to reject the United States and return to Africa. Only a few blacks actually did emigrate to Liberia, and these returned to tell horror stories of death and disease. Turner's use of effusive and biting language to defame his detractors, however, and his strong, visceral appeal to the oppressed black masses were precursors to Marcus Garvey's back-to-Africa movement and the 1960s rhetoric of Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, and the Muslims. Turner's dream of the black people achieving honor, dignity, and recognition in the eyes of humanity symbolized the longings and aspirations of the oppressed black masses throughout the United States. (CC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A