Transforming NCCU Rhetorics

Since North Carolina Central University was founded in 1910, its students, faculty, and staff have employed rhetoric for many purposes, including intellectual debate, political protest, and personal expression. Composed by the members of Dr. Julie Nelson's 2018 History of Rhetoric course at NCCU, this project showcases historical and contemporary rhetorical artifacts that reflect the values, commitments, and aspirations of our community. Rhetoric has always been studied historically, but we assert that history is also rhetorical, meaning that it tells the stories of those in power from their perspectives. In this project, we write our own rhetorical histories up to the present. To write our history means honoring African American rhetorics, which for too long have been left out of America’s story. As a Historically Black University, NCCU has produced and hosted many significant African American rhetoricians, including several NC politicians, Zora Neale Hurston, Andre Leon Talley, and the Obamas. African American rhetorics reflect the rhetorical styles of their African ancestors and seek to uplift the community.

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