Charles Chesnutt’s Writings for Social and Political Change Charles Chesnutt was a well-known African American author who was known for his short stories that conveyed racist African American dialect and conveyed his wishes for equality and social and political change for African Americans. The purpose of this paper is to delve into Chesnutt’s short story “The Goophered Grapevine” to define the way Chesnutt manipulated his audience and worked towards white sympathy for the black community. Chesnutt knew that if he attempted his goal with his white audience’s knowledge, they would resist and he would therefore be unsuccessful. Therefore, Chesnutt needed to disguise the motive of the story so he could affect his audience without their knowledge of his manipulation. Chesnutt did so through the use of storytelling with three characters that served to show the three sides of the racial divide. Through the use of storytelling, Chesnutt used the three main characters in “The Goophered Grapevine as a whole to represent and show the different sides of the racial divide and manipulate his audience into sympathizing with the black society in order for social and political change; Uncle Julius functioned as the storyteller as well as the black society, John functioned as the white side of the community who resisted change, and Annie functioned as the side of the white community that sympathized with the black community and sought political and social change for the black community.