In The Black God Trope and Rhetorical Resistance: A Tradition of Race and Religion, Armondo R. Collins theorizes Black Nationalist rhetorical strategies as an avenue to better understanding African American communication practices. The author demonstrates how Black rhetors use writing about God to create a language that reflects African Americans’ shifting subjectivity within the American experience. This book highlights how the Black God trope and Black Nationalist religious rhetoric function as an embodied rhetoric. Collins also addresses how the Black God trope functions as a gendered critique of white western patriarchy, to demonstrate how an ideological position like womanism is voiced by authors using the Black God trope as a means of public address. Scholars of rhetoric, African American literature, and religious studies will find this book of particular interest.
Armondo R. Collins is assistant professor of African American literature, thought, and cultural studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Black God Trope and Enthymematic Blackness
Chapter 2: Proto-Black Nationalism: Early Black Church Lore as Rhetorical Performance and Resistance
Chapter 3: A Message to the Blackman in America: Elijah Muhamad’s Influential Religious Rhetoric
Chapter 4: Clarence 13x’s Black God Ethos and the Rhetorical Challenge of the Five Percent
Chapter 5: The Black God Trope in the Novel: A Message From the Black Woman in America
Chapter 6: Alice Walker’s Womanist Black God Trope in The Color Purple
Chapter 7: The Black God Trope as Rhetorical Pedagogy
About the Author
"The Black God Trope is the apogee of rhetorical examinations regarding Black nationalism and religion, particularly how the divine is used as ethos, authority, and resistance. Armondo R. Collins incisively synthesizes centuries of Black rhetorical tradition in the United States - from early orators in the pulpit and at the lyceum to contemporary literary geniuses - as he concomitantly analyzes the nuances of such texts. This volume demonstrates not just the power of the divine as a rhetorical trope for resistance, but it also centers its dynamism as an epistemology for living - for community, for agency, and for survival. In the same way liberation theologists have contributed to a deeper, more reflexive understanding of religion, so too does Collins provide a vigorous and fresh mapping of Black nationalism for rhetorical studies."
“Collins has taken a very creative and helpful approach by examining the manifestation of the Black God trope in various kinds of documents (two jeremiads, a catechism, three novels, and three poems). The discussions of the ways Bambara, Morrison, and Walker explore a womanist theological perspective are exceedingly rich, as are the author’s explications of how these novelists make connections between Black women’s self-identity versus group identity.”