Africana scholars often address their texts to a reader who is implicitly white. This tendency, which this article characterizes as the “discursive orientation toward whiteness,” has the pernicious effect of limiting the range and rigor of scholars’ research questions and proposal. This analysis examines the other discursive “face,” following J. Saunders Redding’s observation from almost eighty years ago, which remains unnervingly insightful: “Negro [sic] writers have been obliged to have two faces . . . to satisfy two different (and opposed when not entirely opposite) audiences, the [B]lack and the white.” Scholars have described this second face in the text in a number of ways—variously as a temperament, a rhythm, or an “aesthetic.” Through an analysis of a few exemplary texts, the current study will describe a few of the most salient characteristics, ultimately in the service of equipping the “Black” scholar with a few effective, liberatory rhetorical strategies.

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