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ERIC Number: ED420078
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Late Twentieth-Century Racial Uplift Work.
Logan, Shirley Wilson
This paper presents a description and brief history of the concept of "racial uplift" and describes its implications for a contemporary, Black college professor. The phrase "racial uplift," for 19th-century Black women, describes almost any type of political activity designed to improve conditions for Black people during the critical post-Reconstruction period of Plessy v. Ferguson, mob violence, and "Jim Crow" democracy. Now the term also invokes images of an educated Black elite, some version of W.E.B. DuBois's "talented tenth." For a Black, newly tenured professor of rhetoric and composition at a predominantly White state university, personal history has affected every aspect of her professional life. She developed a research project around collecting and analyzing the persuasive discourse of 19th-century Black women, even though her dissertation had been about writing technology and its implications. Her concern for being "labeled" as someone who could only do race-related work notwithstanding, the persuasive speeches and writing of 19th-century Black women helped her reshape and rewrite the identity and personal history which her earlier experiences had constructed for her. The work mattered academically because history had been silent where these rhetors were concerned. The personal affects teaching assignments and pedagogy. With the increasing demand for courses on the literature of African diasporan people and women, there is also increasing pressure to design courses around these subjects. The recommendations in this paper help educators to attempt to understand the "lived experiences" of those to whom they teach composition, those they teach about, and those with whom they work in the academy, rather than respond to a prescribed and constraining script. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A