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Reconstructing Southern Rhetoric$
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Christina L. Moss and Brandon Inabinet

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781496836144

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2022

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496836144.001.0001

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What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

Recovering an African Burial Ground and Black Nationalism’s Cultural Influence in the Capital of the Confederacy

(p.277) Chapter 13 What Lies Beneath
Reconstructing Southern Rhetoric

Megan Fitzmaurice

University Press of Mississippi

Bringing together several ideas from preceding chapters, Megan Fitzmaurice highlights activism to recover the African Burial Ground and other Black history sites in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. Activists invoked a rhetoric of global Black nationalism that also recovered regional narratives of Black resistance and African influence. Such rhetoric creates a sense of continuity between the ancestors commemorated and the current Black residents to be empowered. It also highlights the region as a rhetorical engine of resistance. Protest that embraces physical place as means of voicing regionally-derived identity becomes the final mode of reconstructing Southern rhetoric (alongside education and dialogue in the previous two chapters).

Keywords:   protest, self-determination, spatial representation, Black nationalism, resistance

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