The intersections between social and scientific definitions of race were never so con-spicious nor so consequential as in the nineteenth century. And never was this more true than when such definitions were made to apply to African Americans. We have a scholarship of considerable depth detailing the ways in which African Americans were subjected to the terms of racial science; we need now to ask how those terms were resisted, by whom, and through which rhetorical resources. This essay examines how postbellum African American historians contested racial science and constructed a rhetoric of vindication by appropriating certain scientific claims even as they asserted extra-scientific grounds for full citizenship rights.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics