Through a critical analysis of ancient African texts that predate Greco-Roman treatises Cecil Blake revisits the roots of rhetorical theory and challenges what is often advanced as the "darkness metaphor" -- the rhetorical construction of Africa and Africans. Blake offers a thorough examination of Ptah-hotep and core African ethical principles (Maat) and engages rhetorical scholarship within the wider discourse of African development. In so doing, he establishes a direct relationship between rhetoric and development studies in non-western societies and highlights the prospect for applying such principles to ameliorating the development malaise of the continent.
1. Prologue 2. "The Blackness Without and the Blackness Within": The Rhetorical Construction of the African 3. Rhetorical Theory as Background and Context 4. Africa in Rhetorical Scholarship 5. Maat: The Ethical Grounding of the Rhetoric of Ptah-Hotep 6. The Rhetoric of Ptah-Hotep 7. From Darkness to Light 8. Paradigmatic Framework: Postcolonial Theory 9. Epilogue. Appendices.