Cultural and rhetorical traditions of communication within African / Black thinking

Document Type


Publication Date

August 2015


From a globalization and glocalization lens, this article has examined two interdependent communication traditions (socio-cultural and rhetorical), outlined by Robert Craig in his magnum opus ‘Communication theory as a field’ published in Communication Theory in 1999; and how African thought and, to an extent, emotion can be repositioned through the local and international legal system, more specifically in the popular Bhe Case in South Africa. African thought can effectively and efficiently be explained through a theoretical binocular of what Molefi Asante has aptly called ‘Afrocentricity.’ The African thought on which this article is anchored is what Karenga also called ‘Maat,’ which means ‘rightness in the spiritual and the moral sense in three realms: the divine, the natural and the social.’ We conclude that yoking globalization influences on the socio-cultural and rhetorical traditions of the African and Black people can create uncomfortable bedmates.