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Colored WhiteTranscending the Racial Past$
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David Roediger

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233416

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233416.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

“Hertz, Don’t It?” White “Colorblindness” and the Mark(et)ings of O. J. Simpson

“Hertz, Don’t It?” White “Colorblindness” and the Mark(et)ings of O. J. Simpson

(p.68) 5 “Hertz, Don’t It?” White “Colorblindness” and the Mark(et)ings of O. J. Simpson
Colored White

Leola Johnson

University of California Press

This chapter explores the role of race and the claim of “colorlessness” in O. J. Simpson's life largely prior to the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. It seeks to understand why Simpson became the first black sports star to crossover in a big way from athletic hero to corporate spokesman and media personality. Then, it considers the pre-1994 realities as critical in their own right, murders and trials aside. Simpson, profiting greatly from the increased use of slow-motion photography in sports, did successfully cultivate public interest in his style, which he linked to African American expressive behavior. An examination of Simpson, gender, and race that extends beyond the coverage of sports and forward to the present is offered. Simpson's crossover success offered white viewers the opportunity to sit in judgment of Black manliness at the same moment when they claimed to have gotten past racial thinking.

Keywords:   colorlessness, O. J. Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson, Ronald Goldman, corporate spokesman, media personality, gender, race, slow-motion photography, sports

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