Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

The Quotable Black Scholar: Tricia Rose

July 8th, 2008 by Ajuan Mance

Tricia Rose (Source:

Al Sharpton is incredibly articulate…But because he speaks with a cadence and style that is firmly rooted in black rhetorical tradition you will rarely hear white people refer to him as articulate. –Professor Tricia Rose in “Definitions – The Racial Politics of Speaking Well”

Do you remember when Senator Joe Biden referred to Senator Barack Obama as “articulate” and “clean”? Biden’s comments underscored the inflammatory nature of the politics of Black speech. Tricia Rose sheds a clarifying light on the important role of accent and rhythm in white evaluations of Black eloquence.

Biographical Notes: Tricia Rose was born in New York City and raised in Harlem and the Bronx. She completed her undergraduate studies at Yale University and earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University. She has taught at NYU and University of California – Santa Cruz. She is currently a professor in the Africana studies department at Brown. Rose is the author of two books, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994) and Longing To Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy (2003).

For a detailed biography of Tricia Rose, click HERE.

To watch a video of Tricia Rose discussing misogyny in hip hope, click HERE.

A big thanks to ExpatJane at “Where the Hell Am I” for bringing to my attention the article “Definitions – The Racial Politics of Speaking Well,” written by Lynette Clemetson and published in the New York Times.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Posted in Academia, African Americans, Current Events, Higher Education, race, Tricia Rose

One Response

  1. Stephen Bess

    So true. That style of speech is normally viewed as more entertaining and nostalgic than intelligent. Thanks for that.