Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Daniel Doll

Second Advisor

Earle Bryant

Third Advisor

Robert Shenk


This thesis asserts that Marcus Bruce Christian (1900-1976), a New Orleans, Louisiana, black poet, writer, and historian, used his diary and notes as a site of rhetorical education and as a space in which he constructed and reinforced a Duboisian ethos, a particular type of black identity and character shaped by the political rhetoric of W. E. B. Du Bois. Maintaining this ethos, Christian, an autodidact throughout most of his life, negotiated a society strangled by white supremacist ideology and resisted being interpellated into the negative black identity constructed by a hostile and stifling Jim Crow South.


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