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Black men like OJ Simpson, Bill Cosby, and R. Kelly are able to navigate a society that demonizes the color of their skin and achieve some sense of the American Dream.

By Rachael Edwards Last week, it was announced that OJ Simpson will be released on parole on Oct. 1 after his hearing. He has served nine years in Nevada State Prison after he was found guilty for assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery in 2007. This is the same OJ Simpson that was acquitted of all charges for the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman in 1995. I was a one year old when Simpson captured the attention of almost every media outlet in the United States. I grew up hearing conversations about him, but I could never figure out which side Black people stood on when it came down to discussing him. When OJ got off, Black people celebrated, which inevitably incited white anger. However, in conversations within the Black community, there are many who believe that OJ murdered Brown and Goldman. The same conversation translates for white people who adore OJ and the many who cannot say his name without cursing him. Simpson’s image is complex–he is all at once the All-American good guy who plays in the NFL and the violent Black man who was on trial.  The Black part of his identity seems to be in parenthesis–he navigated spaces with non-Black & white people with ease. OJ slid in and out of different social spaces, garnering love from all sides. How?
Related: FIVE WAYS TO REDISTRIBUTE SOCIAL CAPITAL IN ACTIVIST SPACES

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