By Stephen H. Browne
"Abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer, Angelina Grimke (1805-79) was once one of the first girls in American background to grab the general public degree in pursuit of radical social reform. 'I will elevate up my voice like a trumpet,' she proclaimed, 'and exhibit this humans their transgressions.' And while she did elevate her voice in public, on behalf of the general public, she came upon that, in developing herself, she may possibly rework the realm. within the approach, Grimke crossed the wires of race, gender, and tool, and produced explosions that lit up the area of antebellum reform. one of the so much impressive beneficial properties of Angelina Grimke's rhetorical profession used to be her skill to level public contests for the soul of America--bringing opposing rules jointly to supply them voice, intensity, and variety to create new and extra compelling visions of social switch. Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, identification, and the novel mind's eye is the 1st full-length examine to discover the rhetorical legacy of this most unique suggest for human rights. Stephen Browne examines her epistolary and oratorical artwork and argues that rhetoric gave Grimke a skill to style not just her message yet her very id as an ethical force."
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Extra info for Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination (Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series)
3 The point is perhaps obvious, but Grimké simply does not fit into any ready narrative or taxonomy of reform types. In part this is because, as the diary, correspondence, and public statements indicate, her convictions were seldom allowed to sit still for long. She subjected her beliefs to an unrelenting personal and public scrutiny, as if only through such pressure could she remain confident of her commitment to them. In part, too, this may be an artifact of history itself: Grimké entered into public life at a time when virtually every standard, expectation, and practice defining that life was undergoing dramatic changes.
Grimké had no real script before her, and if her journal tells us anything, it is that she grew just as she departed from the imperatives of religion, family, and culture. There is in fact rather little in the way of sustained contentment in its pages; the journal is instead a record of relentless searching, questioning, contesting, and sometimes renouncing much of everything given to her by virtue of Page 20 place and name. The story is told, accordingly, not as a journey toward contentment as such but as a series of engagements, transformations, and lessons; the path runs finally from the enclaved and privileged world of slave-holding Charleston to the dangers, hypocrisy, and possibilities of the "free" North.
It is not necessary or desirable that we choose either model for understanding Grimké's public identity, but it may be worth the effort to find a more satisfying approach to the question. The thesis of this book has been posed as a claim bearing on just this issue; I have tried to account not so much for the ways in which Grimké made herself of service to abolitionism and woman's rights; nor for the ways in which she exploited her unusual background in order to create some autonomous Other. I have sought rather to trace some of the ways in which Grimké crafted herself publicly for the purposes of activating collective moral action.
Angelina Grimke: Rhetoric, Identity, and the Radical Imagination (Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series) by Stephen H. Browne