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Abstract

This essay identifies the rhetorical strategies of Maria Miller Stewart’s Boston anti-slavery discourse as jeremiads that connected her religious, moral, political and social lamentations of the American democratic system and called her audiences to aid in the desensitizing of slavery and America prejudice. When she attempted to establish a common ground, the aim of Stewart’s jeremiads was to make her audiences conscious of the numerous social and political grievances within the African-American community. Stewart’s jeremiadic discourse called for the deterioration of American racism and sexism and provided an agency that constituted a form of resistance.

Note on the Author

Willie J. Harrell, Jr., Assistant Professor of English at Kent State University, Harrell teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in African-American Literature. His articles have appeared in CLA Journal, Canadian Review of American Studies and he has contributed to The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore. He is editor of the forthcoming volume We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality.

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