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The Race to Presidency: Toward Race and Citizenship in "A More Perfect Union"

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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abstract
During the 2008 election season, Reverend Jeremiah Wright condemned America to hell before a congregation of Black Americans. These remarks represented a larger tension about race in America. In March of 2008, Obama addressed a crowd of faithful followers at the Philadelphia Constitution Center. In it, he credits his achievements to the wonder and freedom of the American Dream and that, ultimately, racial polarization in America has left the Dream unfinished. “A More Perfect Union” addresses race relations with ease and eloquence, in part because it challenges the idea that America is perfect. Obama invites citizens to think of the Dream as a possibility of perfection, highlighting racial discrimination as evidence that the Dream needs perfection. This thesis focuses on the relationship between perfection and equality in Obama’s framing of the American Dream Myth. I approach Obama’s use of myth and narrative peels back revelations about ideology and race in America. Ultimately, Obama rhetoric unveils the assumptions and biases of Whiteness in American ideology. These assumptions of Whiteness that presuppose the Dream apply to our understanding of citizenship and race in political, social, and other material interactions. This work adds to the primitive and rapidly growing field of race in the rhetorical presidency.
subject
American Dream
"A More Perfect Union"
myth
Obama
race
rhetorical presidency
contributor
St Sume, Jennifer (author)
Louden, Allan (committee chair)
Von Burg, Alessandra (committee member)
Parks, Gregory (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:19Z (accessioned)
2017-06-15T08:36:19Z (available)
2017 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82254 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
The Race to Presidency: Toward Race and Citizenship in "A More Perfect Union"
type
Thesis

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