The question posed in Garner and Calloway Thomas’ article “African American Orality: Expanding Rhetoric” as to whether African American culture is oral-based, oral-conscious, or secondary-oral is a critical aspect of how rhetoricians should proceed in intensifying its legacy. The essay calls for the search of a Black Presence, quintessential denominator for what African American rhetoric is. Using indirection, often including slang terminology, storytelling, and “playing the dozens”), Signifying was a natural cultivation of African American rhetoric. While posing sundry umbrella connotations for signifying including snapping, irony, and playing the dozens, signifying will focus strictly on the rhetorical concept of figurative usage language use as it relates to that of African American rhetoric.

One aspect that the authors note is the notion of signifying. This rhetorical principle is familiar to me as I used theorist Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s concept of Signifying for my rhetorical analysis last semester. I have included a playlist related to African American Orality which includes examples of poetry, religious sermons, rap music, as well as signifying.

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