Document Type


Subject Area(s)



African American speakers who participated in William McKinley’s 1896 Front Porch campaign events used epideictic rhetoric to address the issues of racial equality. They praised McKinley, but presented few arguments on policy matters. This rhetorical strategy helped them to advocate policies in a manner that would superficially appear to be ceremonial more than deliberative. Paradoxically, in doing so, the speakers advocated their views to ameliorate the injustices of the Jim Crow era, while adapting to the campaign’s rituals.

Included in

Communication Commons