chapter  4
The Construction of Blackness and the Constraint of Ethos
Pages 28

Reacting to social changes and material conditions, ethos expectations were changing. The antebellum rhetorical culture offered a unique opportunity for orators who weren’t from the elite ranks of society to lure and dominate audiences and have their messages read by voters in a dozen states. In terms of ethos expectations, the radical departure represented by the democratization of public action is hard to conceive fully.