Counter-science: African american historians and the critique of ethnology in nineteenth-century america

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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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-284
Number of pages17
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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