Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Andre Johnson

Committee Member

Antonio de Velasco

Committee Member

Katherine G. Hendrix

Committee Member

Gloria S. Boutte


This dissertation examines the rhetorical discourses of three critical Black Language teacher-scholar-activists through the lens of Black or African American prophetic rhetoric. This transdisciplinary project aims to expand the conversation regarding the role of rhetorical communication in the activity of instruction. This research brings teaching and instruction to the forefront as a rhetorical situation in which the cultural politics of Black languages and literacies are prophetically addressed. Based on close reading of selected texts, this dissertation offers the development of three rhetorical frameworks: (a) womanist prophetic rhetoric, (b) Black prophetic fugitivity, and (c) prophetic rehabilitation. Each framework indexes a specific prophetic persona that corresponds to respective rhetors’ pedagogic performance. These include: (a) the womanist prophet, (b) the fugitive prophet, and (c) the rehabilitating prophet. These frameworks and personae shed light on what it means to be a prophetic teacher in this world. In analyzing selected texts through a Black or African American prophetic lens, this research lays the bricks for a path toward prophetic approaches and understandings to teaching and instruction in myriad subject areas. The concluding chapter expands on the development of Prophetic [Communication] Pedagogy—a liberatory pedagogic approach rooted within the Black prophetic-rhetorical tradition which combines critical analysis with rhetorical performance. Consistent with the reading in the body chapter analyses, this framework explains what it means for educators to prophetically employ rhetorical strategies in their teaching to encourage hope and bear witness to injustice.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access