Desegregation and the Rhetorical Fight for African American Citizenship Rights
Sally F. Paulson
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
Focusing on the NAACP’s twentieth-century attempt to overturn the “separate but equal” doctrine through school desegregation cases, Desegregation and the Rhetorical Fight for African American Citizenship Rights analyzes the rhetorical/legal dynamics inherent in the struggle to determine African American citizenship rights. This book begins by identifying the fundamental dialectical tension existing within all American citizenship rights between the Declaration of Independence’s guarantee of “ideal equality” to all citizens as opposed to the Constitution’s privileging of local, “practical” decision-making through Article IV Sect. 2, the “privileges and immunities” clause. It contends that as a consequence of that dynamic, American citizenship rights are rhetorical concepts produced through argument grounded in “all the available means of persuasion,” including logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. Ultimately, this book demonstrates that the school desegregation issue came down to a question of credibility/ethics. Recommended for scholars interested in communication, law, history, political science, and cultural studies.