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by Associate Professor David G Holmes PhD

ePub Revisiting Racialized Voice: African American Ethos in Language and Literature download
Associate Professor David G Holmes PhD
Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
History & Criticism
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Pointing to the intersection of African American identity, literature, and rhetoric, "Revisiting Racialized Voice .

Pointing to the intersection of African American identity, literature, and rhetoric, "Revisiting Racialized Voice begins to construct rhetorically workable yet ideologically flexible definitions of black voice. In this book, I begin reexamining both the ideological and interdisciplinary relationships among literature, oratory, and composition epitomized in an explication of the metaphor of black voice.

Associate Professor David G Holmes PhD. Читать pdf. Darryl Millis MS DVM, David Levine PhD PT, Robert A. Taylor DVM MS - Canine Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. Taylor DVM MS. Dietrich Stauffer Master in Physics.

Keywords: African American literature; ethos; slave narratives; Phillis Wheatley; Martin Luther King; Malcolm X. .

Keywords: African American literature; ethos; slave narratives; Phillis Wheatley; Martin Luther King; Malcolm X; . Du Bois; Booker T. Washington. The paired concepts of home and ethos to help us better understand African American literature and culture and explore the potential for what Baumlin and Meyer term a therapeutic model or reparative model for ethos whose goal is to recognize, accommodate, and heal-to heal oneself and one’s community through mutual understanding, consensus, equity, mutuality (Baumlin and Meyer 2018, p. 18).

Gwendolyn D. Pough, David G. Holmes. Published: 1 December 2004. in College Composition and Communication. College Composition and Communication, Volume 56; doi:10.

David G. Holmes David G. Holmes is Professor of English, Writing .

Plantation owner Calvin Candies appeal to the racist science of phrenology is one example of how a number of scholarly discourses have been used to justify discrimination. David G. Holmes is Professor of English, Writing and Rhetoric at Pepperdine University.

American literature, and African American expressive culture

Keith Gilyard is a Distinguished Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and an award-winning author of numerous books and publications.

Related books: Joseph T. (Joseph Thomas) Wilson  . Author: David G Holmes. (Joseph Thomas) Wilson J. M. D. (John Miller Dow) Meiklejohn. newSpecify the genre of the book on their own. No user reports were added yet. Be the first!

Revisiting Racialized Voice: African American Ethos in Language and Literature argues that past misconceptions about what constitutes black identity and voice, codified from the 1870s through the 1920s, inform contemporary assumptions about African American authorship. Tracing elements of racial consciousness in the works of Frederick Douglass, Charles Chesnutt, W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, and others, David G. Holmes urges a revisiting of narratives from this period to strengthen and advance notions about racialized writing and to shape contemporary composition pedagogies.


Holmes considers how the white hegemony demarcated black identity and reveals the ways some African American writers unintentionally reinforced the hegemony’s triad of race, language, and identity. Whereas some of these writers were able to help rethink black voice by recognizing dialect as a necessary linguistic discursive medium, others actually inhibited their own efforts to transcend race essentialism. Still others projected race as a personal and social paradox which complicated racial identity but did not denigrate African American identity. In recalling the transition in the 1960s from voice as metaphor denoting literary authorship to one connoting student authorship, Holmes posits that rereading the 1960s would enable a mediation between literary and rhetorical voice and an empowered look at race as both an abstraction and as rhetorically indispensable.


Pointing to the intersection of African American identity, literature, and rhetoric, Revisiting Racialized Voice begins to construct rhetorically workable yet ideologically flexible definitions of black voice. Holmes maintains that political pressure to embrace a “color blindness” endangers scholars’ ability to uncover links between racialized discourses of the past and the present, and he calls instead for a reassessment of the material realities and theoretical assumptions race represents and with which it has been associated. 


  • I am a white research scientist. I grew up in Kansas City MO, at a time when schools and the rest of society were segregated. My early-acquired racial prejudice (typical of the times)got a shock when I read Frederick Douglass's My Life in Bondage and Freedom. I expected horror stories of slavery and was curious about how he escaped. I did not expect the sophisticated detachment with which Dougless described the sumptious table delights of Southern manor hospitality - so that my mouth watered. That was capped by Douglass's comparison of the efficiency of stevedores' unloading of ships at Baltimore - a slave port, and New Bedford. Doing the job in Baltimore required four times the number of slaves under supervision of an overseer, than free workers (white or black) in New Bedford. Douglass cited this as evidence of the inefficiency of slave vs free society. In short, he showed, elegantly and irrefutably, that slavery degraded not only the slave but the master.

    Later, I had more personal awakenings from unexpected discoveries about my home town's high school educational system in the 1950s. Research by colleague and me (Manheim and Hellmuth, 2006) discovered that Lincoln High School, the segregated Negro high school in Kansas City, had dominated science awards for all Kansas City Missouri high schools (then 3/4 white - including my own) from the 1950s through the mid 1960s - against the odds of discrimination and other handicaps. These experiences completely transformed my thinking about African Americans in American society.

    I would have never gotten such insights from specialized theoretical discussions of the kind involved in this book. They reach only a small number of academics within fragmented disciplines. But when aggregated, the literature makes a vast deluge of scholarly articles and books that is overwhelming our university libraries. For example, when I entered the keywords "Frederick Douglass" in Google Scholar search engine I retrieved 37,900 scholarly articles and books! Libraries are increasingly having to abandon subscriptions to periodicals whose titles are relevant to the disciplines their universities pursue. The system (which got out of control after World War II) has become a giant brain drain for the United States. It not only buries some of our best talents - like the present author - behind ivory tower walls. Our social science and humanities curricula have become dominated by specialized academic disciplines so that students get chaotic, overtheoreticized perspectives, whose literature has been shown by social scientists themselves (e.g. Shulock, 1999) to be ignored by decisionmakers. Curricula are not oriented to prepare students for other than academic careers (other than a small number of institutions that have moved toward reform.)

    What can intelligent and concerned lay persons, decisionmakers, et al, do with treatments of discrimination and prejudice that deal with " interrogation of the 'assumptions that language is an irreducible marker of racial identity.'".

    Some academics realize the problems but feel powerless to do anything about them. Once in the system, peer-reviewed publications form the credentials for promotion and tenure. The situation is aggravated by the economic downturn and increasing retrenchment and rising costs of our bloated research universities. A tidal wave of students is moving toward community colleges that cost a fraction of public or private universities - while often providing more useful training. I got caught in the system (in the case of the physical sciences) myself - where the problem is similar though less extreme than in the social sciences and humanities). I have no illusions that these words will be popular with the other reviewers or the author. But I urge consideration of the problem so that reforms from inside can get moving before they are imposed from the outside (legislatures and the relentless consequences of unaffordable costs of a vastly overbuilt system).


  • Holmes skillfully navigates the rough waters and obstacles surrounding racialized voice. He is able to demystify a great deal of complexity in relatively few pages and does so with obvious craft. Holmes' central argument surrounds the place of racialized voice, both historically and pedagogically. He states outright in his preface: "My overall purpose is to afford African American students more flexibility in constructing their own racialized ethos in writing." He argues that the "search for the inner public voice" has often been a restraint for many writers and believes that in order for writers to truly be liberated, they must be free to construct their own ethos, outside of the ideology of larger society. In the second Chapter, Holmes discusses a major argument that by, "designating race as a cultural hermeneutic," race becomes a way of reading, not something to be read. He acknowledges that the strategy is not fail proof but it is one approach to reading.
    Holmes' text follows a few major movements. Outwardly, he analyzes the writings and influences of race on three important writers from specific historical time periods: Chesnutt, Du Bois, and Hurston. Each is shown and develops a black voice different from those around them and each is influenced by the black voice of their time. However, Holmes identifies the shortcomings of each voice as well as the innovations. Through his analysis, the reader gets a close look at construction of ethos and voice. None of the authors conformed solely to the voice expected of them, neither were any totally free of American ideology. Holmes acknowledges that voice is always a construct. He realizes that there is not such a thing as "black voice" but there are many black voices and he proves this in his analysis of the authors Chesnutt, Du Bois and Hurston. Each constructed a very individual ethos which Holmes commends while at the same time critiquing.
    Holmes also tackles the essence of the slippery metaphor of black voice and African American ethos. He purposely refrains from defining either and states that the words are historically and culturally charged. Each term carries with it specific nuances that elude specific definition. Holmes uses the distinctions between the two forms as another basis for the contrast between formality and informality which runs subtly throughout his text. He grapples with the concepts of voice broadly and black voice specifically, methodically employing his reading on certain ideas in order to encapsulate the complexity of the argument without staunchly coming to a definitive conclusion.
    Ironically, in a book about racialized voice, Holmes intentionally manipulates his own voice in order to demonstrate the complexity of the topic. He makes the book more enjoyable by academically, yet wittily organizing his words. Not only does he discuss the concept of code switching but he uses it in his own voice. Because of the complexity of the argument and the subtle ways in which Holmes' voice is revealed, the book appears intended for those who enjoy a scholarly look at the topic. It is not a light read, but one that requires a great deal from the reader. Though the reading is difficult at times, the thesis and arguments are worth the work. Holmes is able to truly capture some of the essence of racialized voice. The way he manifests his own voice in a book about constructing voice is essential to comprehension. As he employs the same methods he applauds and questions, his greater purpose becomes distinctively clearer. Holmes has crafted his writing to mirror his discussion, which, as a reader, I appreciated a great deal.