- Title Pages
- List of Figures
- List of Contributors
- 1 Questioning the Democratic, and Democratic Questioning
- 2 Against the ‘Democratic Turn’
- 3 The Divided Legacy of <i>Politikon</i>
- 4 A Democratic Turn in the Reception of the Roman–Dutch Law of Treason in South Africa?
- 5 Labour and the Classics
- 6 Appropriations of Cicero and Cato in the Making of American Civic Identity
- 7 Classics as a Weapon
- 8 Civilization and Savagery at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition
- 9 The Expansion of Tragedy as Critique<sup>1</sup>
- 10 Investigating American Women’s Engagements with Graeco-Roman Antiquity, and Expanding the Circle of Classicists
- 11 The Democratic Turn in (and through) Pedagogy
- 12 Classics in West African Education
- 13 Back to the <i>Demos</i>
- 14 Can ‘Democratic’ Modern Stagings of Ancient Drama be ‘Authentic’?
- 15 Demotic Power to the People
- 16 Aristophanic Performance as an All-inclusive Event
- 17 Constructing Bridges for Peace and Tolerance
- 18 <i>The Silence of Eurydice</i>
- 19 Ovidian Metamorphoses in the Fiction of A. S. Byatt
- 20 Catullus and Lesbia Translated in Women’s Historical Novels
- 21 Female Voices
- 22 Heroes or Villains
- 23 Democracy and Popular Media
- 24 Practising Classical Reception Studies ‘in the Round’
- 25 In Search of Ancient Myths
- 26 Truth, Justice, and the Spartan Way
- 27 A ‘Democratic Turn’ at the Ashmolean Museum
- 28 All Mod Cons? Power, Openness, and Text in the Digital Turn
Classics as a Weapon
Classics as a Weapon
African Americans and the Fight for Inclusion in American Democracy
- (p.89) 7 Classics as a Weapon
- Classics in the Modern World
- Oxford University Press
This chapter shows how two educated African American abolitionists mobilized knowledge of classical texts and antiquity in their fight for liberty and equality in the American republic. The chapter argues that education in and knowledge of the classics and classical history provided Alexander Crummell and William G. Allen with a powerful weapon to combat charges of racial inferiority and to argue for African American political and social inclusion in American democracy. Deploying the same classical techniques of rhetoric their White contemporaries used to bolster their proslavery positions, Crummell, Allen, and others argued for the necessity of abolition. They utilized their knowledge of the classical world to advocate liberation and emancipation for African Americans. The chapter ends with a brief look at African American oratory today.
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