The African Origins of Rhetoric
By Cecil Blake
Routledge – 2009 – 140 pages
Series: African Studies
Through a critical analysis of ancient African texts that predate Greco-Roman treatises Cecil Blake revisits the roots of rhetorical theory and challenges what is often advanced as the "darkness metaphor" -- the rhetorical construction of Africa and Africans. Blake offers a thorough examination of Ptah-hotep and core African ethical principles (Maat) and engages rhetorical scholarship within the wider discourse of African development. In so doing, he establishes a direct relationship between rhetoric and development studies in non-western societies and highlights the prospect for applying such principles to ameliorating the development malaise of the continent.
1. Prologue 2. "The Blackness Without and the Blackness Within": The Rhetorical Construction of the African 3. Rhetorical Theory as Background and Context 4. Africa in Rhetorical Scholarship 5. Maat: The Ethical Grounding of the Rhetoric of Ptah-Hotep 6. The Rhetoric of Ptah-Hotep 7. From Darkness to Light 8. Paradigmatic Framework: Postcolonial Theory 9. Epilogue. Appendices.
Cecil Blake is Chair of the Africana Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author or editor of many books, including Handbook of Intercultural Communication, Through the Prism of African Nationalism, and Intercultural Communication: Roots and Routes.