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

Leola Johnson

in Colored White

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233416
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930803 | DOI:
“Hertz, Don’t It?” White “Colorblindness” and the Mark(et)ings of O. J. Simpson

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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

Chapter.  11010 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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