WRIT 342 - Rhetoric in Black and White: Communication and Culture in Conflict
In the nearly 400-year history of social relations between Blacks and Whites in America, rhetoric has often failed. Civil war, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and Black Power were all actions or movements that ensued largely because words fell short of persuading persons of good will to submit to reasoned arguments. Arguably a pillar of American democracy (as in the freedom to speak and to dissent), why has rhetoric been so seemingly ineffective in securing mutual respect and understanding between America’s Black and White citizens? This course seeks to answer this question by closely examining the styles of communication that historically have shaped the cultural identities and public personas of the two groups. From slave speech to the languages of protest in the 1960s to verbal expression in rap music and social media today, the course considers why communication or dialogue involving race is often doomed to fail.
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Human Thought and Expression
Liberal Arts CORE: None
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