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Civil Rights in the White Literary ImaginationInnocence by Association$
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Jonathan W. Gray

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036491

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036491.001.0001

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Perfecting Innocence

Perfecting Innocence

(p.133) Epilogue Perfecting Innocence
Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination

Jonathan W. Gray

University Press of Mississippi

This book concludes by considering an event that can be understood as a culmination of the Civil Rights Movement as one way to understand the relationship between the shifting rhetorical referents of American exceptionalism and American innocence. This event, Barack Obama’s election to the presidency, is tangible proof that the African American community’s pursuit of full equality in America has reached a high-water mark. This chapter also introduces Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor who married Barack and Michelle Obama, baptized their children, and served as one of Obama’s closest advisors when he was an Illinois state senator. Rev. Wright seemed to destroy the groundwork laid by Obama and his campaign team by sowing doubt about Obama’s narrative and thus his viability in the general election.

Keywords:   rhetorical referents, American exceptionalism, American innocence, Barack Obama, Rev. Jeremiah Wright

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