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Civil Rights after WWII:
Recommended Sources

Rhetorical Criticism

Antczak, Frederick J.

"When 'Silence is Betrayal': An Ethical Criticism of the Revolution of Values in the Speech at Riverside Church." Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 127–146.

Appel, Edward C.

"The Rhetoric of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Comedy and Context in Tragic Collision." Western Journal of Communication 61 (1997): 376–…

Asante, Molefi Keti.

"Television and Black Consciousness." Journal of Communication 26 (1976): 137–141.

Benson, Thomas W.

"Rhetoric and Autobiography: The Case of Malcolm X." Quarterly Journal of Speech 60 (1974): 1–13.

Branham, Robert. "I Was Gone On Debating: Malcolm X's Prison Debates and Public Confrontations." Argumentation and Advocacy 31 (1996): 117-123.

Brockriede, Wayne E., and Robert L. Scott.

"Stokely Carmichael: Two Speeches on Black Power." Communication Studies 19 (1968): 3–13.

Brooks, Robert D.

"Black Power: The Dimensions of a Slogan." Western Speech 34 (1970): 108–114.

Burgess, Parke G.

"The Rhetoric of Black Power: A Moral Demand?" Quarterly Journal of Speech 54 (1968): 122–133.

Calloway-Thomas, Carolyn, and John Louis Lucaites, eds.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Sermonic Power of Public Discourse. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1993.

Campbell, Finley.

"Voices of Thunder, Voices of Rage: A Symbolic Analysis of a Selection from Malcolm X’s Speech, ‘Message to the Grass Roots’." Communication Education 19 (1970): 101–110.

Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs.

"The Rhetoric of Black Nationalism: A Case Study in Self-Conscious Criticism." Central States Speech Journal 22 (1971): 151–160.

Carson, Clayborne

"Martin Luther King, Jr.: Charismatic Leadership in a Mass Struggle." Journal of American History 74 (1987): 436–481.

Clark, E. Culpepper.

"The American Dilemma in King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'" Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 33–39.

Colaiaco, James A.

"The American Dream Unfulilled: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'" Phylon 45 (1984): 1–18.

"Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Paradox of Nonviolent Direct Action." Phylon 47 (1986): 16–28.

Cook, Anthoney E.

"Beyond Critical Legal Studies: The Reconstructive Theology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." Harvard Law Review 103 (1990): 985–1040.

Cox, J. Robert.

"The Fulfillment of Time: King’s "I Have a Dream" Speech (August 28, 1963). Texts in Context: Critical Dialogues on Significant Episodes in American Political Rhetoric. Ed. Michael C. Leff and Fred J. Kauffeld. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press, 1989. 181-204.

Dickins, Milton, and Ruth E. Schwartz.

"Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court: Marshall v. Davis in the School Segregation Cases." Quarterly Journal of Speech 57 (1971): 32–42

Dionisopoulos, George N., et al.

"Martin Luther King, the American Dream, and Vietnam: A Collision of Rhetorical Trajectories." Western Journal of Communication 56 (1992): 91–107.

Flynt, Wayne.

"The Ethics of Democratic Persuasion and the Birmingham Crisis." Southern Speech Journal 35 (1969): 40–53.

Fulkerson, Richard P.

"The Public Letter as a Rhetorical Form: Structure, Logic, and Style in King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'" Quarterly Journal of Speech 65 (1979): 121–136.

Gallagher, Victoria J. "Black Power in Berkeley: Postmodern Constructions in the Rhetoric of Stokely Carmichael." Quarterly Journal of Speech 87 (2001): 144-157.

Garrow, David J.

"King's Plagiarism: Imitation, Insecurity, and Transformation." Journal of American History 78 (1991): 86–92.

Gregg, Richard B., Jackson McCormack, and Douglas J. Pedersen.

"The Rhetoric of Black Power: A Street Level Interpretation." Quarterly Journal of Speech 42 (1969): 151–160.

Gresson, Aaron D.

"Minority Epistemology and the Rhetoric of Creation." Philosophy and Rhetoric 10 (1977): 244–262.

Hariman, Robert.

"Time and the Reconstitution of Gradualism in King’s Address: A Response to Cox." Texts in Context: Critical Dialogues on Significant Episodes in American Political Rhetoric. Ed. Michael C. Leff and Fred J. Kauffeld. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press, 1989. 205-217.

Harrison, Robert D., and Linda K. Harrison.

"The Call from the Mountaintop: Call-Response and the Oratory of Martin Luther King, Jr." Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 162–178.

Heath, Robert L.

"Dialectical Confrontation: A Strategy of Black Radicalism." Central States Speech Journal 24 (1973): 168–177.

Hinmelstein, Jerry. "Rhetorical Continuities in the Politics of Race: The Closed Society Revisited." Southern Speech Communication Journal 48 (1982): 153-166.

Hoover, Judith D.

"Reconstruction of the Rhetorical Situation in 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'" Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 50–65.

Hunsaker, David M. "The Rhetoric of Brown V. Board of Education: Paradigm for Contemporary Social Protest." Southern Speech Communication Journal 43 (1977): 91-109.
Jensen, Richard J., and John C. Hammerback. "'Your Tools Are Really the People': The Rhetoric of Robert Parris Moses." Communication Monographs 65 (1998): 126-140.

Johannesen, Richard L.

"The Ethics of Plagiarism Reconsidered: The Oratory of Martin Luther King, Jr." Southern Communication Journal 60 (1995): 185–…

Kalenga, Maulana.

"The Oppositional Logic of Malcolm X: Differentiation, Engagement and Resistance." Western Journal of Black Studies 17 (1993): 6–17.

Kennicott, Patrick C., and Wayne E. Page.

"H. Rap Brown: The Cambridge Incident." Quarterly Journal of Speech 57 (1971): 325–334.

Klein, Mia.

"The Other Beauty of Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'" College Composition and Communication 32 (1981): 30–37.

Lee, Ronald L.

"The Rhetorical Construction of Time in Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'" Southern Communication Journal 56 (1991): 279–288.

Larson, Charles U.

"The Trust Establishing Function of the Rhetoric of Black Power." Central States Speech Journal 21 (1970): 52–56.

Lynch, Christopher. "Reaffirmation of God's Anointed Prophet: The Use of Chiasm in Martin Luther King's "Mountaintop" Speech." Howard Journal of Communication 6 (1995): 12-31.
McPhail, Mark. "Passionate Intensity: Louis Farrakhan and the Fallacies of Racial Reasoning." Quarterly Journal of Speech 84 (1998): 416-489.

Miller, Keith D.

"Alabama as Egypt: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Religion of Slaves." Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 18–32.


"Composing Martin Luther King, Jr." Publications of the Modern Languages Association 105 (1990): 70–82.


"Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Black Folk Pulpit." Journal of American History 78 (1991): 120–123.


"Martin Luther King, Jr., Borrows a Revolution." College English 48 (1986): 249–265.


"Voice Merging and Self-Making: The Epistemology of 'I Have a Dream.'" Rhetoric Society Quarterly 19 (1989): 23–52.

Lucaites, John Louis, and Celeste Michelle Condit.

"Malcolm X and the Limits of the Rhetoric of Revolutionary Dissent." Journal of Black Studies 23 (1993): 291–314.


"Reconstructing <Equality>: Culturetypal and Counter-Cultural Rhetorics in the Martyred Black Vision." Communication Monographs 57 (1990): 5–24.


"Universalizing 'Equality': The Public Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 85–103.

McEdwards, Mary. "Agitative Rhetoric: Its Nature And Effect." Western Journal of Communication 32 (1968): 36-43.

Morris, A.

"Black Southern Student Sit-In Movement: An Analysis of Internal Organization." American Sociological Review 46 (1981): 744–767.


The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Free Press, 1984.

Mott, Wesley T.

"The Rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail." Phylon 36 (1975): 411–421.

Murphy, John M. "Domesticating dissent: The Kennedys and the Freedom Rides." Communication Monographs 59 (1992): 61-78.
---. "Inventing Authority: Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Orchestration of Rhetorical Traditions." Quarterly Journal of Speech 83 (1997): 71-89.

Osborn, Michael.

"The Last Mountaintop of Martin Luther King, Jr." Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 147–161.

Osborn, Michael, and John Bakke. "The Melodramas of Memphis: Contending Narratives during the Sanitation Strike of 1968." Southern Communication Journal 63 (1998): 220-234.
Parry-Giles, Trevor. "Character, the Consititution, and the Ideological Embodiment of "Civil Rights" in the 1967 Nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court." Quarterly Journal of Speech 82 (1996): 364-382.

Patton, John H.

"'I Have a Dream': The Performance of Theology Fused with the Power of Orality." Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 104–126.

Pauley, Garth.

"John Lewis's 'Serious Revolution': Rhetoric, Resistance, and Revision at the March on Washington." Quarterly Journal of Speech 84 (1998): 320–340.

Pauley, John L. "Reshaping Public Persona and the Prophetic Ethos: Louis Farrakhan at the Million Man March." Western Journal of Communication 62 (1998): 523-536.

Payne, James C.

The Anatomy of Black Rhetoric. Tallahassee: Graphics Communication Association, 1987.

Pollock, Arthur. "Stokely Carmichael's New Black Rhetoric." Southern Speech Communication Journal 37 (1971): 92-94.
Raum, Richard D., and James S. Measell. "Wallace and his Ways: A Study of the Rhetorical Genre of Polarization." Central States Speech Journal 25 (1974): 28-35.
Sanger, Kerran L. "Functions of Freedom Singing in the Civil Rights Movement: The Activists'
Implicitly Rhetorical Theory." Howard Journal of Communications 8.2 (1997): 179-195.

Scott, Robert L.

"Justifying Violence: The Rhetoric of Militant Black Power." Central States Speech Journal 19 (1968): 96–104.


"Socio-Historical Perspectives of Black Oratory." Quarterly Journal of Speech 56 (1970): 264–269.

Snow, Malinda.

"Martin Luther King’s 'Letter from the Birmingham Jail' as Pauline Epistle." Quarterly Journal of Speech 71 (1985): 317-334.

Solomon, Martha.

"Covenanted Rights: The Metaphoric Matrix of 'I Have a Dream.'" Calloway-Thomas and Lucaites 66–84.

Spilliers, Hortense J.

 "Martin Luther King and the Style of the Black Sermon." Black Scholar 3 (1971): 14–27.

Terrill, Robert E. "Colonizing the Borderlands: Shifting Circumference in the Rhetoric of Malcolm X." Quarterly Journal of Speech 86 (2000): 67-85.
---. Malcolm X: Inventing Radical Judgment. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 2004.
---. "Protest, Prophecy, and Prudence in the Rhetoric of Malcolm X." Rhetoric and Public Affairs 4 (2001): 25-53.
Watts, Jerry, and Michael Dyson. "Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X." Dissent 43 (1996): 114-119.
Yousman, Bill. "Who Owns Identity? Malcolm X, Representation, and the Struggle over Meaning." Communication Quarterly 49 (2001): 1-18.
Zarefsky, David. "Civil Rights and Civil Conflict: Presidential Communication in Crisis." Central States Speech Journal 34 (1983): 59-66.
History and Biography
Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63. New York: Simon & Schuster 1989.

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65. New York: Simon & Schuster 1999.

Sales, William. From Civil Rights to Black Liberation: Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Boston, MA: South End Press, c1994.
Van Deburg, William. New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965-1975.
Sources of Primary Texts
Cleaver, Eldridge. Soul on Ice. 1968. Pref. Ishmael Reed. New York: Dell, 1992.
King, Martin Luther. Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ed. James M. Washington. San Francisco: Harper, 1991.

Smith, Arthur L.

The Rhetoric of Black Revolution. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1969.

Smith, Arthur L., and Stephen Robb.

The Voice of Black Rhetoric. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1971.

Storing, Herbert. What Country Have I?: Political Writings by Black Americans. New York: St. Martin's P, 1970.

X, Malcolm.

Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements. Ed. George Brietman. New York: Pathfinder P, 1989.

X, Malcolm, with Alex Haley. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.