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Date of Award
This dissertation argues for the continuity of the Negro jeremiad on other forms of African-American protest. Recently, scholars of the origin of the Negro jeremiad have shown how black leaders have employed jeremiadic rhetoric of social prophecy and criticism to create a variant that is specifically African American. Wilson Jeremiah Moses and David Howard-Pitney have argued that the Negro jeremiad has been a leading feature of black protest rhetoric from the antebellum through the modern civil rights era. I hope to complement and expand upon their scholarship by examining other forms of nineteenth-century African-American protest (i.e. slave narratives, novels, poetry, rebellions) to show how they where consistently influence by the American jeremiad and how they have employed elements of the jeremiad to advance distinct social interests and political agendas. In The Afro-American Jeremiad: Appeal For Justice in America, Howard-Pitney appropriately suggests what the components of the jeremiad are: "citing the promise, criticism of present declension or retrogression from the promise, and resolving prophecy that society will shortly complete its mission and redeem the promise" (8).
Harrell, Willie Jake, "To bear the slave's heavy cross" (2003). Wayne State University Dissertations. 3363.