Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age (Ncte/CCCC Studies in Writing and Rhetoric (Swr))
Adam J. Banks
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
DJs are models of rhetorical excellence; canon makers; time binders who link past, present, and future in the groove and mix; and intellectuals continuously interpreting the history and current realities of their communities in real time. Banks uses the DJ's practices of the mix, remix, and mixtape as tropes for reimagining writing instruction and the study of rhetoric. He combines many of the debates and tensions that mark black rhetorical traditions and points to ways for scholars and students to embrace those tensions rather than minimize them. This commitment to both honoring traditions and embracing futuristic visions makes this text unique, as do the sites of study included in the examination: mixtape culture, black theology as an activist movement, everyday narratives, and discussions of community engagement. Banks makes explicit these connections, rarely found in African American rhetoric scholarship, to illustrate how competing ideologies, vernacular and academic writing, sacred and secular texts, and oral, print, and digital literacies all must be brought together in the study of African American rhetoric and in the teaching of culturally relevant writing.
A remarkable addition to the study of African American rhetorical theory and composition studies, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age will compel scholars and students alike to think about what they know of African American rhetoric in fresh and useful ways.
Longtime radio personality Tom Joyner made the old school/new school remix a staple of his morning radio shows for exactly this synchronizing purpose. By playing remixes he commissioned from well-known DJ Steve "Silk" Hurley, Joyner intentionally linked younger generations to their elders in the same groove, allowing for conceptions of unities among and across these groups even as the generational differences were still audible. 'I he need for this kind of synchronizing of generational texts,
calls compositionists to stand on the side of the wide range of different, everyday writing practices that have emerged from vernacular cultures into public awareness and into our students' conceptions of what it means to write. Will we stand 138 I Mixtape with a set of codes, laws, and conventions that have pushed more and more severely in the direction of huge corporate interests, or will we stand with the interests of students and a public of everyday people who have clearly shown that
of "thieving Negroes," these DJs and the culture they created bore the brunt of societal and legal disciplining and judgment when they should have been celebrated for offering us new ways into old debates that we have always engaged about copyright, about fair use, about intellectual property. 'I he mixtape as practice is an example of Katie Cannon's demonstration that the vernacular and literary practices of black people often show us different interpretations of ethical questions,
of those definitions as I make an argument for a new mix, remix, and mixtape for this field of inquiry: [African American rhetoric is the] study of culturally and discursively produced knowledge-forms, communication practices, and persuasive strategies rooted in freedom struggles of people of African Ancestry in America. (Richardson and Jackson xiii) Black discourses have been the major means by which people of African descent in the American colonies and subsequent republic have asserted their
(Weheliye), 10, 29, 38 "Plagiarism, Originality, Assemblage" (Johnson-Eilola and Selber), 2 0 - 2 1 Porter, James, 21 positionality, 111-12, 117, 137 Pough, Gwendolyn, 6, 26,57,104,128-29 Powell, Annette Harris, 12, 104 preacher, 18, 24, 48-49; copyright issues and, 142; cultural history, interpretation of, 125-26; as griot, 124; griotic role of, 49-51; identification and, 50-51; Lord's Prayer, use of, 49-50; as master griot, 125-26; rhetorical strategies, 50-51; sermon, 124-26; as storyteller,